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IT is so long since a collection of our national pro- 
verbs, of similar extent to the present, has been given 
to the public of Scotland, that we believe it might 
have been welcomed by our countrymen although 
the formality of a preface, bespeaking their kind atten- 
tion to its merits, had been dispensed with. Deferring, 
however, to the wishes of the ingenious and laborious 
author, who, in the matter of books, as well as other 
things, objects to any violent departure from established 
usage, the following preliminary observations have 
been drawn up, which the reader may or may not 
just as he has a mind. We are modest 
enough to think, that in either case his loss or gain 



will not be much; for in truth our pretensions to 

Well scene 

In wittie riddles, and in wise soothsayes, 

are exceedingly moderate. 

" The genius, wit, and spirit of a nation," says Lord 
Bacon, " are discovered in their proverbs;" and this 
profound though hacknied observation never received 
a better exemplification than a patient survey of the 
contents of the present volume will afford to the 
student of national characteristics. Few countries can 
lay claim to a more abundant store of these pithy 
sayings than our own ; and no people, at one time, were 
more attached to the use of these significant and 
figurative laconisms than Scotsmen. To a certain 
extent, all seemed to think in proverbs, and to prefer 
the same medium for expression, whether in writing 
or in conversation. Alluding to the esteem in which 
they were held at the beginning of last century, Kelly 
thus expresses himself: " Among others, the Scots 
are wonderfully given to this Way of Speaking ; and 
as the consequence of that, abound with Proverbs, 
many of whom are very expressive, quick, and home to 
the Purpose. And indeed this Humour prevails univer- 
sally over the whole Nation, especially among the 
better sort of the Community, none of whom will 


discourse you any considerable time, but he will 
confirm every assertion and observation with a Scottish 
Proverb." Leaving out the speciality noticed by our 
learned author, his remarks in other respects, hold 
good till the present day. But fashions in literature 
are as fluctuating as they are in the minor departments 
of taste; and we much fear that the day of proverbs, 
" among the better sort of the community," has in a 
sense drawn to a close. Within the last century, 
Time's ploughshare has cut a deep and a long furrow, 
and proverbs, if not torn up by the roots, have to a 
certain extent been earthed from sight. Their use by 
writers on factitious manners and subjects of taste, 
has been condemned as vulgar and unfashionable, and 
as it is always easier for the multitude to adopt 
opinions, than to form them for themselves, the senti- 
ments of even superficial thinkers find many willing 
followers. Our present system of education, and what, 
for want of a more precise term, we call the spirit of 
the age, are hostile to the oral enunciation of these 
ancient sentences of wisdom and worldly prudence. 
But although the shifting currents of fashion and taste 
have sought new channels, we do not anticipate a final 
extinction of apothegmatic knowledge. Fortunately, it 
is indestructible as language itself, and when the 
present changes in the moral and intellectual aspect of 


society have run their appointed course, the sententious 
saws of antecedent centuries will again stud with their 
epigrammatic brilliancy, written and colloquial dis- 
course. One law, which we never should lose sight 
of, is well expressed by Sir Walter Raleigh, in his 
book of Political and Polemical Aphorisms. " Whoso 
desireth to know what will be hereafter, let him think 
of that is past; for the World hath ever been in a 
circular Revolution : Whatsoever is now, was hereto- 
fore, and things past or present, are no other than such 
as shall be again. Redit orbis in orbem." * 

There is no surer sign of the oral knowledge of a 
people being on the wane, than the attempt to secure 
it from oblivion by collecting its fragments and printing 
them in books. Whenever either the National songs, 
the popular tales, or prudential maxims of a country are 
curiously and diligently gathered, and transferred to 
another ark of safety than that of the living voice, it may 
be safely inferred, that changes in the character and habits 

* The arts of Empire, and Mysteries of State Discabinated 
in Political and Polemical Aphorisms, grounded on authority 
and Example, and Illustrated with choicest Examples and 
Historical Observations, By the Ever- Renowned Knight, Sir 
Walter Raleigh, published by John Milton, Esq., London, 
1692, p. 139. 


of feeling, and of thinking, of the people themselves, 
are in progress deemed inimical to their longer preser- 
vation in a pure, accurate, and authentic form. Betwixt 
man and oblivion there is a perpetual warfare. Whether 
we look upon him as an isolated individual, or part of 
one great family, still the solitary exertions of the 
individual, or the combined efforts of the whole are 
directed to this one grand object perpetuity of re- 
membrance. Not more assiduously does the patient 
Dutchman fortify himself against the heavy swell 
of the vast Atlantic, than does one age strive to 
transmit to another an unimpaired mental inheri- 
tance. Without any exaggeration of expression, or 
absurdity in philosophical reasoning, this eager, 
active, and undying longing to be remembered, 
may be designated the principle of life itself, as it 
is of all action in life. To the working of this great 
principle, every great invention for the transmission 
of knowledge from age to age, may be safely and 
satisfactorily traced. 

For these reasons, much of the regret we feel that 
there have been so few collectors of proverbs amongst 
us, is greatly diminished. It is a sign that their 
oral existence was not deemed to be in a preca- 
rious state, and that to ensure their preservation, it was 
not considered necessary (if we may be allowed the 


expression) to mummify them into books, and to 
swaddle them up in sheets of learned commentary and 

Our first collection, so far as we have been enabled 
to discover, takes its date only from the era of the Re- 
formation. According to Mackenzie a writer, however, 
whose authority is by no means of the highest order, 
when uncorroborated by other evidence James Beaton, 
Archbishop of Glasgow, made a collection of Scottish 
Proverbs. This statement is given on the report of 
Dempster, a writer whose accuracy is also frequently 
called in question by those versant in Scottish literature. 
Without presuming to settle a point, regarding which 
we have neither had materials nor leisure to satisfy our 
minds upon, we shall rest contented with simply quot- 
ing oui- author : " Dempster tells us, that our learned 
prelate left in MS. to be printed after his death, a 
Commentary upon the Book of Kings ; a Lamentation 
upon the deplorable state of the Kingdom of Scotland ; 
a Book of Controversy against the Sectarians ; Obser- 
vations upon Gratian's Decrees ; and a Collection of 
Scots Proverbs. But I very much doubt if any of 
these were ever published, excepting the Collection of 
Scots Proverbs, of which there have been several 
editions, with Mr. Fergusons additions to them. 
The oldest of which, that I have seen, is printed at 


Edinburgh, 1 6 1 0, in 1 2mo."* To the end of his several 
biographies, Mackenzie usually affixes a list of the 
works ascribed to each author; and, in the present 
instance, the fifth article appended to the life of this 
prelate, is The Scots Proverbs, in 12mo. 1614, and 
in divers other years." A moment before, he told us 
that the earliest impression he had seen of the Proverbs 
was in 1610, and here we learn it to be 1614, which 
is no very favourable specimen of minute accuracy. 

Assuming for the present, and in the absence of 
direct proof to the contrary, that the first of our paraemi- 
ographers was Archbishop Beaton, the next in order 
of time, as to authorship, though a contemporary, was 
also a churchman, but of the Reformed faith, Mr. David 
Ferguson, minister of Dunfermline. It is worthy of 
remark, that divines have been the most assiduous 
cultivators of this subordinate branch of literature, 
both in England and Scotland. In Scotland, our 
ministers seem to have had a most extraordinary relish 
for these quaint and homely saws. Ferguson was in 
his day distinguished for his inveterate love of them ; 
and at a subsequent period, Zachary Boyd, Rector 
of Glasgow University, has, in his " Last Battell of 

Mackenzie's Lives, vol. iii. p. 461. 


the Soule," given quite a cento of common proverbial- 
isms. In that libellous work, " Presbyterian Eloquence 
Displayed," there is ascribed to many of the " Burning 
and Shining Lights," commemorated in its pages, a 
plentiful use of the same mucrones verborum, and of 
a description which can only find a parallel in the 
" Comical Wish," which honest Kelly states " was first 
spoken by a Minister to a Person of Quality, who 
commended his Wife's Beauty too lavishly,*'* but 
which we need not repeat, to the discontentment of 
fastidious ears and queasy stomachs. 

Of Ferguson, the historian of Knox speaks with a 
partiality not unmerited. He was a native of Dundee, 
and though not a graduate of a college, he was very 
far from being illiterate, and was much admired for 
the quickness of his wit and his good taste, as well as 
for his piety. 7 While other leaders of the Reformation 
were busied cultivating the literature of Greece and 
Rome, Ferguson was equally assiduous in polishing the 
vernacular dialect ; for which service, a tribute, in Latin 
verses, was paid to him by John Davidson, one of the 
regents of St. Andrews. " Nor was the improvement 
of our native tongue," says M<Crie, " neglected at that 

* Kelly's Proverbs, Lond. 1721, p. 399. 


time. David Ferguson, minister of Dunfermline, was 
celebrated for his attention to this branch of composi- 
tion. He had not enjoyed the advantages of a univer- 
sity education ; but, possessing a good taste and lively 
fancy, was very successful in refining and enriching the 
Scottish language, by his discourses and writings."* 

* M'Crie's Life of Knox, Edin. 1831, 5th ed. vol. ii. p. 18. 
Ferguson was the author of " Ane sermon prechit before the 
regent and nobilitie, upon a part of the third chapter of Ma- 
lachie, (verses 7 12,) in the kirk of Leith, at the tune of the 
Generall Assemhlie, on Sunday the 13 of Januarie, Anno 
Dom. 1571. Be David Fergusone, minister of the evangell 
at Dunfermline. Imprentit at Sanctandrois be Robert Lek- 
preuik. Anno Dom. MDLXXII." The dedication to the 
Regent Mar, is dated 20th August, 1572. 

It does not necessarily concern our present subject, and may, 
therefore, appear somewhat impertinent, to make any obser- 
vations on the word " Evangell," as it is here printed; yet, as 
illustrative of an interesting point in the transmutation of 
languages, we may be allowed, we hope, to make a single re- 
mark upon its origin. The word is pure Greek tutfyyiJuot 
and means good tidings, or good news. It was in common 
use long before the time of the apostles, and may be found in 
the " Epistolae Familiares" of Cicero, as an ordinary word, 
expressive of an ordinary but agreeable occurrence. In later 
times, it seems to have been applied, and most appropriately, 
to the great body of Christian doctrine which the New Testa- 
ment, or, more properly, COVENANT, contains. By an easy 
transition, the u of the original, became the v of modern 
tongues, and the force of the double GAMMA being rendered 
by KG the word EVANGEL was formed. 


Below we have given such notices regarding Ferguson, 
as this judicious and industrious writer has collected ; 

In reference to this sermon, Dr. M< Crie states : " The last 
piece of public service which he (Knox) performed at their 
request, was to examine and approve of a sermon which had 
been lately preached by David Ferguson, minister of Dun- 
fermline. His subscription to this sermon, like every thing 
which proceeded from his mouth or pen about this time, was 
uncommonly striking. * John Knox, with my dead hand, but 
glaid heart, praising God that of his mercy he levis such light 
to his kirk in this desolation.' " M'Crie, voL ii. p. 216. Ban- 
natyne 364 369. 

Besides this sermon, Ferguson was the author of a Collection 
of Scottish Proverbs, and of an answer to the Rejoinder, 
which the Jesuit Tyrie made to Knox. That abusive writer, 
James Laing, calls this last work " a barbarous and Bcetian 
epistle," and rails against its author as an ignorant sutor and 
glover, who knew neither Hebrew, nor Greek, nor Latin. 
p. 229. 

Respecting his facetious turn of mind, we have the following 
anecdotes : A number of Ferguson's witty sayings are re- 
corded by his son-in-law, John Row. James VI. who resided 
frequently at Dunfermline, used to take great delight in his 
conversation. " David," said James to him one day, " why may 
not I have bishops in Scotland as well as they have in Eng- 
land ?" " Yea, Sir," replied Ferguson, " ye may have bishops 
here ; but remember ye must have us all bishops, else will ye 
never content us. For if ye set up twelve louns over honest 
men's heads (honest men will not have your anti-christian 
prelacies) and give them more thousands to debauch and mis- 
pend, than honest men have hundreds or scores, we wil never 
al be content. We ar Paul's bishopis, Sir, Christ's bishopis ; 
ha'd us as we are." " The deil haid aills you," replied James, 


and our only regret is, that upon the subject in which 
we are at present concerned, these are so scanty. 
Ferguson died upon the 23d August, 1598. Of this 
collection of " Scots Proverbs," which even in the time 
of Kelly (1721) was esteemed as old and scarce, it has 
not been our good fortune to meet with an early impres- 
sion, or even to ascertain the exact dates of all the earlier 
editions. But in the account given of Ferguson by his 
son-in-law, John Row, minister of Carnock, in his MS. 
history, we have the following passage, from which it 
appears that the first edition of the proverbs was 
printed in 1642. " He uttered many quick and wise 
sentences, which wer taken nottice of. He gathered 
the Scottish Proverbs together, and set them down 
or dine alphabetico, that same year when he dyed, 1598. 
They were printed in Edinburgh, Anno 1642."* Wod- 

" but that ye would all be alike ; ye cannot abide ony to be 
abone you." " Sir!" said the Minister, "do not ban." 
Row's Coronis to his Historic of the Kirk, p. 314. Ferguson 
seems to have amused himself with some of those incidents 
which were generally reckoned ominous. The King having 
once asked him very seriously what he thought was the reason 
that the master of Gray's house shook during the night. He 
answered, " Why should not the devil rock his a win bairns ?" 
p. 301. Besides being facetious, Ferguson appears to have 
been strongly tinctured with the superstitions of the time. 

* Wodrow, it will be seen, afterwards quotes this date by 


row wrote the life of Ferguson, which, along with his 
other MS. lives, is preserved in the Library of Glasgow 
College, To this authority we had not access early 
enough to be of much use to us, but the following 
extracts from the work are of interest: " I know 
nothing of David Ferguson's in print save his excellent 
Collection of Scots Proverbs, which, as we have just 
now seen, was the work of his old age ; at least put 
in the alphabeticall order we have, in the same year he 
dyed. And the first edition of them that his son-in-law 
knew of, was printed (it may be by himself) Edinburgh, 
1643, [ 1642 ? ] I have an old copy of them in a black 
Saxon letter, which wants the title page, and so I know 
not if it be that printed 1643, 1 suppose it is, for this 
reason, that the next edition which I have seen, 
Edinburgh 8vo, 1659, perfectly answers it, page for 
page, only its in our ordinary white character with 
italic mixed. That in the black Saxon letter, belonged 
to Mr. William Guthry, who, I know was exceedingly 
fond of our old Scots Proverbs, and studyed them as 
exceeding strong and emphaticall. He was once upon 

mistake as 1643; the edition which he had in black letter, 
without the title, was probably that of 1649. The editions 
of 1610 and 1614, referred to by Mackenzie, are probably, like 
many other works given by him, fictitious. 


making additions to this collection, but I cannot find 
from his papers that he made any advance in it. Indeed 
Mr. Ferguson's collection is very large. The title of 
the edition 1659, and I doubt not its the same with the 
former, as well as the very pages, runs. " Nine hundred 
and fourty Scottish Proverbs, the greatest part of which 
wer at first gathered together by David Ferguson, 
sometimes minister at Dumfermline, and put to an 
alphabeticall order when he departed this life, An. 
1598. The rest being since added were never printed 
before." The preface published under the name of the 
Printer, I take to be writt by J. Row, Mr. Ferguson's 
son-in-law, or his grandson, minister at Aberdeen, 
because in more places than one, it contains the very 
words and expressions Mr. Row uses in his history. 
Whoever wrote it is short and very apposit. The 
writter nottices " that every nation have their own 
proverbs, yea, every Shire and part of a nation. That 
many having heard of David Ferguson, his quick 
answers both to great persons and their inferiors, 
and of his proverbs he gathered together in his 
time; and many of all ranks being desirous to have 
them are now published." " I know," adds he " there 
be some which will say, and marvel that a minister 
should have taken pains to gather such proverbs 
together. But they that knew his form of powerfull 


preaching the word, and his ordinary talking, ever 
almost using proverbiall speeches, will not find fault 
with this that he hath done." 

" There are many editions since, but none of them 
correct as these two. [Consider if I shall add app. N. 
from MS. 8vo, vol. 3. 4. 6. and vol. 24. N. 1. because 
our editions of late are not so accurate.] 

" The collecting of these proverbs seems to have 
been diversion to him through his life, and no doubt 
helped him much to his consise and strong stile in 
conversation. Mr. Guthry thought the proverbs of 
every tongue should be studied, especially by ministers, 
that upon them they may make their address to their 
hearers the more affecting and nervous. And I have 
been informed, that the learned and pious John Ray, 
who writes so much on Natural History, and hath 
made so excellent improvement of it, had a great value 
for Mr. Ferguson's Proverbs. He wrote, I think, a 
collection of Proverbs himself. Dec. 10. 1729." 

For the list of the various editions given below, 
we stand indebted to Mr. Macvean, bookseller in this 
city.* Our copy is comparatively recent, and conse- 

* In the Advocates' Library, there is an edition in 4to. 
printed in 1641. Another edition appeared in 1649. In the 


quently may not correspond with that of previous years 
in more things than the date. The title is " A Col- 
lection of Scottish Proverbs. The greatest part of 
which were at first gathered together by Mr. David 
Ferguson, sometime Minister at Dunfermline, and put 
into an alphabetical order after he departed this life, 
anno 1598." From the above, it may be inferred, that 
the sole merit of making this collection was not due to 
Mr. Ferguson. It plainly shows that he had availed 
himself of the labours of some previous collector or 
collectors, and that these, combined with his own addi- 
tions, form the volume which bears his name. As the 
address of " The Printer to the Merry, Judicious, and 
Discreet Reader," contains a few hints respecting the 

catalogue of the Argyle library, an edition appears in 8vo. 
dated 1659. Another in 8vo. is in the possession of 
D. Laing, Esq. printed 1675. One in 12mo. dated 1699, 
occurs in Brand's Catalogue. Another bears date 1706. Mr. 
Macvean has an edition printed in 1716, 18mo. ; one iu 1777, 
12mo. ; and another in 1799, 18mo. The only edition given by 
Watt, is that of 1 785, 1 2mo. A book so popular, must have run 
through various other impressions, although these have hitherto 
escaped notice. A small collection of Scottish Proverbs, ren- 
dered into their equivalent sentences in Latin, but without 
date, is in our possession. From internal evidence, however, 
it must have been printed in 1689 or 90. The proverbs in it 
amount to about six hundred in number. 


author, and is, in other respects, of some interest, it is 
thrown into a foot note.* 

The next printed collection to that of the minister 
of Dunfermline, is the invaluable, and curious, and 
extensive one made by James Kelly, A. M., published 

* " The PRINTER to the Merry, Judicious, and Discreet 

" It is well known, that every nation hath their own Pro- 
verbs and Proverbial Speeches ; yea, every shire, or part of a 
nation, hath some Proverbial Speeches, which others have 
not; so that a man can hardly gather together all such 
Speeches; yet some are more inclined to such kind of 
Speeches than others. Therefore, many in this realm that 
have heard of DAVID FERGUSON, some time Minister at Dun- 
fermline, and of his quick Answers and Speeches, both to 
great persons and to others his inferiors, and have heard of 
his Proverbs, which he gathered together in his time, which 
are now put down according to the order of the alphabet ; and 
many of all ranks of persons being very desirous to have the 
said Proverbs, I have thought good to put them to the Press 
for their better satisfaction. I know there may be some that 
will say and marvel, that a minister should have taken pains 
to gather such Proverbs together; but they who knew his 
form of powerful preaching the Word, and his ordinary talk- 
ing, ever almost using Proverbial Speeches, will not find fault 
with this that he hath done. And, whereas, there are some 
old Scottish words not now in use, they must be borne with, 
because if you alter these words, the Proverbs will have no 
grace. And so recommending these Proverbs to thy good 
use, I bid thee farewell. THE PUBLISHER. " 


at London in 1721.* Saving what may be gleaned 
from the volume itself, we know nothing of its learned 
and ingenious author. By birth he was a Scotsman, 
and we are inclined to believe that he was educated 
for the church. He appears to have been considerably 
advanced in life when he published the fruit of his 
labours, for in the conclusion of his preface, he says, 
" If there be any other objection against this my per- 
formance, I have one Apology for all, and that is, that 
I made this Collection without any Regard either to 
Honour or Profit, but only to give myself a Harmless, 
Innocent, Scholar-like Divertisement in my declining 
years." This is confirmed, and a little more insight 
afforded as to his personal history, when in speaking 
of the common saying, " He that 's not handsome at 

* A complete collection of Scottish Proverbs Explained 
and made Intelligible to the English Reader. By James 
Kelly, A.M. Lond. 1721, 8vo. Reprinted Lond. 1818, 
12mo. A number of obvious misprints in the first edition are 
retained in the second. It is a pity the latter was not con- 
ducted through the press by a person conversant with the 
subject. Kelly affords a capital foundation for a learned, 
philosophical and instructive collection of our national Pro- 
verbs. In his explications and illustrations, he is frequently 
wrong, and his orthography is most barbarous ; but, upon the 
whole, he is the only one who has gone about his business like 
a true craftsman. 


Twenty, strong at Thirty, wise at Forty, rich at Fifty, 
will never be handsome, strong, wise, or rich," by way 
of illustration he adds, " I have passed all these terms, 
and have never yet had any of these Qualifications. 
De me conclamatum est" Again, in commenting upon 
the country adage, " A dry summer never made a dear 
peck" he remarks, " I do not know any observation 
of Weather or Season, that holds so true as this, in 
these nations ; for though the straw in such years be 
short, yet the grain is good and hearty. I remember 
no remarkable dry Summers but Three, 1676, 1690, 
1713, and all of them veiy plentiful." It is very 
probable that Kelly may have been born about the 
year 1660. Among other little particulars which his 
ingenuousness makes us acquainted with, is a habit of 
stammering, to which he thus alludes, while illustrating 
the saying " Mocking is Catching" " This," says our 
author, " is spoken to discourage people from mimicking 
any Man's Imperfections, lest you contract a habit of 
them. A memorable Instance I know of this just now, 
in a Boy who got a Habit of Winking, by mimicking 
a Boy that did so ; a Habit of Snuffing ungracefully 
with his nose, by mimicking his Usher ; and a Habit 
of Stammering by imitating myself." He seems to 
have been a very independent spirited man, and to 
have possessed no small share of a biting and sarcastic 


humour, which comes before us in a very unobtrusive 
manner. For instance, the proverb, " I will be your 
servant when you have least to do and most to spend." 
Kelly adds, " The true Meaning of that common Phrase 
Your humble Servant, Sir" Many circumstances 
also induce us to think that he must have been a good- 
hearted, generous man, and not placed in the easiest 
circumstances. He obviously appears to hav% obliged, 
and, in return, to have been disobliged. Upon the 
Proverb, " Sore cravers are ay ill payers," he remarks, 
" This Proverb and the Reverse, viz. ' 111 payers are 
sore cravers,' I have never yet seen to fail." It is a 
bitter conclusion which many a kind heart besides 
that of Kelly, has again and again been driven to form. 
Kelly appears to have resided at one period in Ire- 
land, for when speaking of the proverbial phrases 
He has left the hey in the cat-hole He has left the 
key under the door He has taken a moonlight flit- 
ting He has gone without taking leave / wat not 
what he has done with his tripes, but he has taken his 
heels ; and stating that they severally are applied to a 
person who has absconded from his creditors ; he adds, 
" The last I heard only in Ireland. I suppose it is 
not used in Scotland." Fat men are indebted to Kelly 
for putting into his book a vindication of their heart 
and intellect. Whether the author was himself inclined 


to corpulency we cannot say ; but the experience of 
almost every man will supply a ready confirmation of 
the honesty of his observation upon " Fat paunches 
bode lean Pates," which he distinguishes as " a ground- 
less Reflection upon Fat men, of whom I have known 
many ingenious, and but few ill-natured or malicious." 
Of the softer sex, Kelly does not appear to have enter- 
tained th most exalted opinion. As he always brings 
forward his own experience in support of the truth of 
ancient saws, his remarks are sometimes veiy sly and 
amusing. Thus, in the proverbial rhyme 

He is a good Horse that never stumbled, 
And a better Wife that never grumbled, 

Kelly laconically adds, " Both so rare that I never met 
with either." In his volume there are many more rather 
ascetic observations upon human nature ; but still there 
is a great deal of kindly and amiable feeling displayed, 
which turns the balance in his favour. Some interesting 
notices of changes in manners, customs, and fashions, 
are incidentally scattered through his book, which may 
be of use to the student of national characteristics. 
Respecting the literary tastes of the people, he is less 
communicative ; but we are indebted to him for the 
following curious notice of the popularity of Alexander 
Montgomerie's poem of " The Cherrie and the Sloe" 


At page 101, he tells us that " Fortune helps the 
Hardy ay, and Pultrons ay repels" is out of the 
book called the Cherry and the Slae ; but ever since 
used as a proverb upon several occasions. And, again, 
that " He that speers all opinions comes ill speed 
He that forecasts all Perrels will win no Worship 
and He is but daft that has to do and Spares for 
every Speech" are " (as several others in this book) 
taken out of an ingenious Scottish Book, called the 
Cherry and the Sloe, a book so commonly known to 
Scottish men, that a great share of it passes for pro- 
verbs. It is written in native genuine Scotch, and, to 
them who understand it, very fine and taking." In 
conclusion, Kelly boasts, with honest pride, that his 
collection contains " above three thousand all entire 
sentences, all of them in present common use among 
the Scots, over and above the interspersed English 
and Latin, which will outdo even Erasmus himself: 
and though this Number may seem very great to be- 
long to one Nation, yet, I doubt not, but there are 
many hundreds more which either I have not heard, 
or has not occurred to me." With all its inaccuracies, 
Kelly deserves well of his countrymen, for his labo- 
riously compiled volume. 

Kelly's work appears to have excited Allan Ram- 
say to undertake a similar task. In his dedicatory 


letter, dated October 15th, 1736, addressed to the 
Tenantry of Scotland, Farmers of the Dales, and 
Storemasters of the Hills," Ramsay refers to that 
collection of Proverbs in rather contemptuous terms, 
as " a late large book of them, fou of errors, in a style 
neither Scots nor English." If the somewhat bom- 
bastic dedication of Ramsay is to be received as a 
specimen of either Scots or English, we must confess 
we have never yet been able to form a just estimate of 
the idiomatic peculiarities of the two dialects. Ramsay 
boasts that his collection has been made with great care, 
and that he has restored these Wise sayings to their 
proper sense. The first assertion may be true, but the 
latter is somewhat questionable, at least we, slight as 
is our knowledge in these matters, have, in two or 
three instances, detected obvious errors. From his 
acquaintance with pastoral life, Ramsay has been able 
to enrich his collection with many proverbs peculiar to 
the sheep districts of Scotland, which are not to be 
found either in Ferguson or Kelly. In his dedicatory 
letter, he alludes to what appears to have been a custom 
among shepherds, of exercising their memories, by 
keeping up a conversation with " these guid auld says, 
that shine with wail'd sense, and will as lang as the 
warld wags ;" when, after recommending them to make 
themselves masters of the contents of his volumes, he 


adds " How usefou will it prove to you (who has sae 
few opportunities of common clattering) when you 
foregather with your friends at kirk or market, banquet 
or bridal ? By your proficiency you'll be able, in the 
proverbial way, to keep up the soul of a conversation 
that is baith blyth and usefou." Among old and young 
in Scotland, not many years ago, it was a common 
country pastime of a winter's night to while time away 
by repeating proverbs, telling tales, and reciting songs 
and ballads ; but these good old fashions are fast dis- 
appearing since the " schoolmaster" and politics were 
let loose upon the country. 

Altogether Ramsay's collection comprises about two 
thousand two hundred proverbs, arranged alphabeti- 
cally. It has been frequently reprinted, and a very 
mean abridgment of it is a common penny stall book. 
The editions we have seen, are dated 1737, 1750, 
1776, 12mo. The proverbs do not appear in the 
edition of Ramsay's works, dated 1800, though that 
professes to be a complete collection of all his produc- 

From the preceding list, it will be seen how very 
limited the number of our printed collections of 
proverbs is, and the list of those preserved in 
manuscript is still more scanty. According to Mr. 
Pinkerton, article 45 of the Maitland folio MS. 


consists of " A collection of proverbs, in two pages, 

' Mony man makis ryrae and lukis to na ressoun.' " 

" They are each comprised," says the same writer, " in 
one line, running as the above, without rime, and might 
be useful in a Collection of Scotish Proverbs, though 
indeed they are rather maxims than proverbs." * Article 
118 of the same MS., Pinkerton informs us, con- 
sists of " Seventeen proverbial lines worth no notice." 
The collection in the Maitlaud MS. we have not seen, 
but as the same, or something similar, occurs in the 
Bannatyne MS. which was compiled in the year 1568, 
and presented by John, third Earl of Hyndford, to the 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, in 1772, we present 
the curious with a transcript, f Pinkerton says, that the 

* Ancient Scottish poems, never before in print. Lond. 
1786. Appendix, vol. ii. p. 451. 

f George Bannatyne compiled his volume when he was 23 
years of age, to form employment for himself " during the time 
of pestilence, in the year 1568, when the dread of infection 
compelled men to forsake their usual employments, which 
could not be conducted without admitting the ordinary pro- 
miscuous intercourse between man and his kindred men." 
George Bannatyne' s life, prefixed to Bannatyne memorials 
by Sir W. Scott. While alluding to this eminent collector of 


proverbs registered in the Maitland MS. run " without 
rime," but it will be observed, that those preserved by 
Bannatyne, though in a like predicament, are combined 
in such a way, as that each line rhymes generally with 

Bannatyne Manuscript, vol. i. f. 134. C. 
Mony man makis ryme and lukis to no ressoun 
ane king sekand tresoun* 
he may fynd land ; trest no* in the band 
That is oft brokin ; a fule quhen he hes spokkin 
He is all done ; he suld weir yrn schone 
Suld byd a manis deid ; quhen the fait is in the heid 
The membaris ar seik ; a woman thocht scho be meik 
Scho is ill to knaw ; men glosis the law 
oft against the pure ; quha spendis his gud on a hure 
he hes bayth skayth and schame; he that can nocht gang 

Is a pure man ; men or thay began 

Scottish poesy, who compiled his book in " time of pest," it 
may not be amiss to state, that this volume was in progress 
through the press under a like calamitous visitation the 
Indian Cholera. The three great manuscript treasuries of 
ancient Scottish poetry, are the Asloan MS. preserved in the 
Auchinleck Library, written about the year 1515; the Ban- 
natyne and the Maitland MSS., the first of which is in the 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, and the latter in the Pepysian 
Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge. 

* This line seems imperfect. 


Suld think on the end; preis nocht to spend 

Bot gife thow think to win ; conunounly auld syu 

makis new schame ; bettir is gud name 

nor eviil win geir; he that vsis maist to sweir 

Is nocht best trowd; a tre is best bowd 

quhen that it is zoung; quha rewlis weill his toung 

he may be comptit wyiss; Gud win at the dyis 

riches nocht the air; and a woman that is fair 

Is nocht happin gude; ane colt of a gud stude 

happynis to be best; gud ma nocht lang lest 

that is evill win; a work weill begoii 

hes the bettir end; preis nocht to spend 

our mekle on a Me; it is eith to cry zule 

on ane vder manis coist; he sail hounger in frost 

In heit that will nocht wirk; Obey weill to the kirk 

and thow sail fair the better; a woman keipit in fetter 

Is ane ill tressour; Eit and drynk with mesour 

and defy the leich; a man mekle of speiche 

quhylomis mon lie; think ay that thow mon de 

and thow sail nocht glaidly syn; a man may be of grit kin 

and richt littill worth; a fule bidis Job furth 

and hes baith spur and wand; bettir is a man but land 

nor land but man; he that cumis of evill clan 

wyis men suspeckis; a skabbit scheip infeckis 

all the hail flok; quhairof serwis the lok 

and the theif in the houss; It makis a perte mows 

ane vuhardy catt; a swyne that is rycht ffatt 

Causis hir awin deid; pairte nevir at feid 

fra hame with thy wife; ffle ay fra stryfe 

a sweet thing is peis; all may nocht be leis 

That every man sayis; Thow ma mend twa nayis 

with anis said ze; he is nocht sa waik a fae 

bot he may quhylome noy; It is esiar to distroy 


befer, nor till big; he that is vsd to thig 
Is laith to leave the craft ; ane awld man is fow daft 
That weddis a zoung woman ; Thow mon trow in summar 
or thow hes ill lyfe; be thou jelous of thy wyfe 
scho will do ye war; quha handillis pik or tar 
he is nocht hasty clene; a wound quhen it is grene 
Is the soner heilit; a byle that is lang beilit 
Brekis at the last; auld kyndness past, 
Suld nocht be forzett; be blyth at thi meat 
Devoit in distres; ffor littill mair or less 
mak thow na debait; Bettir is the hie gait 
nor the by rod; he that douttis nocht god 
Sail nocht faill to fall; he that cuvatis all 
Is abill to tyne; about myne and thyne 
rysis mekle stryfe; he hes a gratius lyfe 
That can be content; a bow that is bang bent 
It will wax dull; he that wattis quhen he is full 
he is na fule; put mony to the scule 
all will nocht be clerkis; at every dowg that berkis 
men suld nocht be sic movit; a man weill luvit 
he is nocht pure; grit lawbor and cure 
makis a man auld; a gud taill evill tald 
Is spilt in the telling; In bying and selling 
Is mony fals aith; commounly gud cleth 
Is best cheip; Quha cuvattis farrest to leip 
mon quhylumis gang abak 
Thus schortnes of wit movit me to mak 

With the exception of the following, which were 
written in 1586, by John Maxwell Younger of Southbar, 


a Renfrewshire gentleman, we are not acquainted with 
any other manuscript collection. As a matter of 
literary curiosity, we think it right to transfer to our 
pages the " Proverbs and reasownes," which he deemed 
worthy of transcription in his own day. 

Sum resoivnes and proverbs. 

1 That quhilk the eye seeth the heart greineth. 

2 Amangest all the baundes of benewolence and guid 

will thair is none more honorable, ancient, or honest, 
then manage. 

3 He quhilk wald reape sould so\ve. 

4 He quhilk walde gather frwite sould plant treis. 

5 He that wald reache the sweite rose sould now and 

than be scratched w* the scharpe breres. 

6 The finest meates that be, by one in extremetie of 

sickness, resolue not to be pure blood to strenthen 
the body but to watrish humors to feide the fewer 
and disease. 

7 The Cocatrice by sycht only slaeth. 

8 The sickly patient chiefly desyreth that q lk chieflie 

is forbidden him. 

9 The scho wolfe choseth alway that wolfe for hir 

make who is made maist leane and foull by folow- 
ing hir. 

10 In all degrees of frindeschipe equalitie is chieflie 


1 1 The hauchtie halk will nocht pray on carioun. 

12 Of ewilles the leist is to be chosen. 

1 3 Honowr is the rewairde of wertew. 


14 Thair is no smoke bot quhair thair is sum fyre. 

15 Wengence asketh wengence, and bloode bloode, and 

he that soweth slawchter salbe swir to reape 
rwine and destructioune. 

16 The just judgment of God will suffer no euil doine 

secretlie, but it salbe manifested openly. 

17 Sic as the cawse of ewery thing is, sic wilbe the 


18 It is ane assured signe of ane free and friendlie mynde 

to gewe goode counsayll. 

19 Every commoditie hath a discommoditie annexed 

wnto it. 

20 Fortoune ewer fawoureth the waliant. 

21 Delay bredeth danger. 

22 Fyre the more it is keipt doune the mair it flameth 
. wpp. 

23 In grettest charge ar grettest cares. 

24 Enwy schoteth always at hych markes. 

25 A kyngdome is more eselie gotten than keipit. 

26 Honours change maners. 

27 Freschest flouris soinest faides. 

28 Rypest frwite ar ryfest rotten. 

29 The desyre of ane kingdome careth nether for kith 

nor kin, frende nor foe, God nor the Dewell. 

30 In the fairest Rose is soinest fund a canker. 

31 The northeist wind first gathereth up the cloudes and 

then by puffes putteth thame abrode againe. 

32 The dispositioun of the raynd followeth the constitu- 

tioun of the body. 

33 The panther w* his gay colours and sweit smell 

allureth wther beistis wnto him, and being w*in his 
reache he rauenouslie dewoireth thame. 

34 Streames can not be made to riii against thair cowrse. 


35 The byting of a madde doge rageth and rankleth wntill 

it half brocht the body bytten to bane. 

36 The presoner is not to be pitied quha being ane j wdge 

joyed in seweritie and crueltie. 

37 That castell doith not merite mercie q lk zeeldes rather 

for wainte of fresche supplie than at the swite of the 

38 That clientis caus is not to be considderet quho being 

a counsayllour dealt in the cases of other w'out con- 

39 It is more glorie to wse the wictorie moderatlie than 

to get it mychtelie. 

40 Maa strenthes haif beine wone be clemencie than be 


41 Two wittis are better than one. 

42 Ane greine wound be taking the ayre spreadeth farder 

abroade and is the hardlier to be healed, 

43 Coles of fyre couered close w* ashes keipe thair heate 

lang tyme. 

44 Thair is no hauke soareth so highe bot scho will 

stoupe to some pray. 

45 The laurel or Bay tree ceaseth not to be greine bayth 

summer and winter. 

46 Thair is no thing so impossible q lk frantike furie will 

not enterprise, nothing so schamefull q lk unbrydeled 
desyre will no* wndertak, no thing so fals q lk fleschlie 
filthenes will not forge. 

47 The greatest felicitie is newer to be borne, and the 

secounde soine to die. 

48 Olde doggis ewer byte soirest. 

49 Perfect lowe can newer be wtout equalitie. 

50 Quhen the sone schyneth the clouddis wanish away. 

51 Ewery dram of dely 1 hath a pound of spite, and 


ewery inche of joy hath an ell of annoy annexed 
wnto it. 

52 The fyne golde must be purified in the flammyng fire. 

53 The quhyte siluer is wrocht in blak pitch. 
54- Glory must be gotten threw deip of danger. 

55 Plesour must be pwrchased w* the pryce of paine. 

56 Nothing bredeth baine to the body sooner than 

trowbble of mynde. 

57 The syt of meite is werry lothsome to him whose 

stomocke is ill, or hath alreddie eatten his fill. 

58 Sawes seldome help ane ower lang suffered soire. 

59 Poysouu pearseth ewery waine. 

60 The spider feleth gif her webe be prickte bot w* the 

poynte of a pinne. 

61 The storke feidis his damme q n scho is awlde. 

62 Lowe hathe no respect of persounes. 

63 Scharpe sauce gifis ane guide taist to sweit meate. 

64 Trowble and ad versatie makes quietness and prosperitie 

fare more plesante. 

65 He knoweth not the plesour of plentie quho hathe 

not feelt the paine of penurie. 

66 He takes no delyt in meit quha is neuir hungrie. 

67 He careth not for eiss quha was neuir trubled w* 


68 Thair is no sune schyneth so bry 1 bot clouddes may 

ouercast it. 

69 Thair is no ground so guid bot that it bringeth rurth 

weedes as weill as flowers. 

70 Thair is no state so plentefull in plesure bot that it 

is mixed w l paine. 

71 Nothing can be wneasie or harde wnto a willing heart. 

72 The finest mettals soinest breake. 

73 Wnder most greene grasse ly most greate snakes. 


74 Lowe is wkmt law. 

75 Rage is without reason. 

76 Will is without wit. 

77 Those that faine to be waliant brag most gloriouslie. 

78 Ane cannot be exalted without anothers wrake. 

79 Ane cannot be preferrit to pleso r w*out sum others 


80 Greiwous woundes must hawe smarting- plasters. 

81 Those medicines ewer soinest heale ws q lk most griefe 


82 Thai q lk deell rigorouslie w* wthers it salbe rudly 

delt w l thame. 

83 Ewery thing is deere to itselfe. 

84 Cholericke complexiounes are soinest incensed to 


85 Those that lowe most speak least. 

86 A lytle thing pleseth a foole. 

87 Gorged hawkes will stoupe to no lure. 

88 They that haif ance passed the boundes of schame- 

fastnes may ewer after lawfullie be impudent. 

89 Bewtie and comlenes contenew not. 

90 Curtesie and clemencie remaine for ewer. 

91 Many thingis happen between the cupe and the lyp. 

92 Many thingis chance betwene the boorde and the bed. 

93 Man purposeth and God disposeth. 

94 Quhen Hope and Hape quhen Health and Wealth ar 

highest, than Woe and Wracke, Diseiss and Deith ar 

95 Lyfe is sweit to ewery one. 

96 Thair is no clayth so fine hot mothes will eit it. 

97 Thair is no yrone so harde hot roust will fret it. 

98 Thair is no woode so sounde hot wormes will putrifie it. 

99 Thair is no mettall so course, hot fire will purife it. 


100 Haiste maketh waiste. 

101 Bargaines maid in speid ar comonelie repented at 


102 The increase is small of seid to timelie sowine. 

103 The whelps ar ewer blinde that doggis gettis in haste. 

104 The fruittis full soine do rot q lk gadderit ar to soine. 

105 The malte is newer swete wnles the fire be soft. 

106 He that lepeth or he looke may hap to leip in the 


107 Soone hett soone colde. 

108 Nothing that is wiolent is permanent. 

109 Quhen the causs is taken away the effect wanisheth. 

110 Thair is no wool so courss hot it will tak sum cul- 


1 1 1 Thair is no matter so wnlyklie q lk be wordes may 

not be maide probable. 

112 Traueller's wordes ar not muche trusted. 

113 Greate matters ar not soone belewede. ^0 

114 Ewery ewill bringeth greife enewgh with it quhen it 


1 15 The spider out of most sweit flouris sucketh poysoun. 

116 That q lk is bred in the baine will not out of the 


117 Our nature is to rin upon that q lk is forbidden ws. 

118 Wices the more prohibited the more prowoked. 

119 The secound fall in seickness is ewer most dangerous. 

120 Fairest wordes ar ewer fullest of falsheide. 

121 Wolues newer pray upon wolues. 

122 Had I wist is ewer had at the worst. 

123 Thay that cast not ofe cares before thai come cannot 

cast thame ofe quhen thai do come. 

124 It is too late to cast anchor quhen the schip is schaken 

to peeces against the Rockes. 


125 It booteth not to send for a phisitioun quhen the sick 

partie is alreddie departed. 

126 The thotful care of the riche man causeth the thiefe 

the sooner to seik the spoyle of him. 

127 The nature of a thing may not be altered. 

128 That q lk nature hath giwen cannot be taken away. 

129 The mastiwe newer loweth the grewhounde. 

130 The sunne the hy t er it doith ascende in the firmament 

the more heate it doith extend on the erth. 

131 The sunne being at the hy*est declyneth. 

132 The sea being at full tyde ebbeth. 

133 Cauhne contineueth not lang without a storme. 

134 Happiness is not lang without heauines. 

135 A plesaunt pray soone enlisteth a simple theefe. 

136 It is wisdome to strike q 11 the irone is hott. 

137 The fische bred in durtie pooles will taist of mwde. 

138 Set a beggar on horsback and he will newer alyt. 

139 Lj^g, lyke best of thair lykes. 

140 Lowe is lycht of beleife. 

141 Jelousie is groundit wpon lowe. 

142 Suspition and sclaunder maketh mony to be that q lk 

thai newer meant to be. 

143 Wemen haifing lost thair chastetie ar lyk broken 

glasses q lks are good for no thing. 

144 Quhen the sunne scyhneth the ly* of the starres ar 

not scene. 

145 Thair is na perpetuite to be looked for in mortall 


146 Trewth getteth hatrede. 

147 Ane ill causs can not cum to guide effect. 

148 Ane ill dispositioun breedeth ane ill suspitioun. 

149 Spiders convert to poysoun quhatsoever thai twiche. 

150 Lowe first entereth in at the eyes. 


151 Ewery ane is lytlie in lowe w t that q lk is his awin. 

152 All is not gold that glistereth. 

153 Counterfait coinzie scheweth more guidlie than the 


154 It is most easie to desaife under the name of a 


155 Chaunge is seldom made for the better. 

156 The stoine of Scilicia the more it is beatten the harder 

it is. 

157 No man is surelie setteld in ony estate, hot that for- 

toune may frawne alteratioun. 

158 Thair is no thing so guide hot by ill wsing it may be 


159 Ewerie excess is turnede into wyce. 

160 All the praise of wertew consisteth in doing. 

161 The difference is lyttle betweene doing ane iniurie, 

and suffering ane iniurie to be done q" ane may pro- 
hibite it. 

162 A guid thing cannot be to muche wsed. 

163 It is not possible to seik learning to mwche. 

164 Best wittis ar soinest caught by Cupide. 

165 It easeth the afflicted to utter thair annoy. 

166 The thingis moist excellent ar ewer moist enwyede. 

167 Thay ar meit to gowerne otheres quha can weil gyde 


168 Thair is sacietie of all thingis. 

169 It is better to be idill than ill Imployede. 

170 All erdlie plesure finisseth w* wo. 

171 Quhen twa arguies on force thair talk man be contrair. 

172 Neide oft makis wertew. 

173 Ane meik answer slokinnis melanchoh'e. 

174 Na man suld wirk at thair pleso r w*out cownsell. 

175 Nyce is the Nychtingale. 


xlii PREFACE. 

1 76 It is better to half ane brede in hand, nor twa in the 

woode fleande. 

177 Gun-age prowokis hardenes. 

178 Adwentour gude and haif ay gude. 
] 79 Set all on adwentour. 

180 Debait makis Destanie. 

181 In all perfett works, as weill ?he fault as the face is to 

be schawen. 

182 Things of greitest profeit ar set furth at leist price. 

183 Thair is no priuiledge that neideth a pardon. 

184 Thair is no remissioun to be asked quhair a commission 

is granted. 

185 The finest cloath is soonest eaten with moathes. 

1 86 The cambrike is sooner steinzied than the courss canuas. 

187 Wit is the better gif it be the deerar bocht. 

188 The tender zouth of a childe is lyke the tempering of 

m>we waxe, apt to receiue ony forme. 

189 Tnepotter fashioneth his clay quhen it is soft. 

190 The sparrow is taucht to come quhen he is zoung. 

191 Things past ar past calling againe. 

192 It is to late to shut the stable dure quhen the steede 

is stolne. 

193 The fine chrystall is sooner crazed than the harde 

194* The fairest silk is soonest soylede. 

195 The sweetest wine.tourneth to the scharpest wineger. 

196 So many men so many mynds. 

197 The whelpe of a mast hie will never be tawght to re- 

triue the partridge. 

198 Educatioun can haif na schew quhair the excellencie 

of nature doith beare swaye. 

199 The subtill foxe may weill be betaen bot newer brok- 

en from stealling his praye. 


200 Blake will tak no wther cullour. 

201 The stone Abeston being once made hot, will newer 

be made colde. 

202 Fire can nocht be forced downewarde. 

203 Nature will haue cowrss efter kinde. 

204- Ewery thing will dispose it self according to nature. 

205 The Camelion hath maist guttis, and draweth leist 


206 The elder trie is fullest of pith and fardest from strentht. 

207 The thunder has a grit clape bot a lyttill stoine. 

208 The bird taurus hath a grit woce bot a small body. 

209 The empty wessel gifejh a gretur sounde than the fwll. 

210 Yrne the more it is wsed the brychter it is. 

211 Siluer with muche wearing doith waist to no thing. 

212 The cammocke the more it is bowed the better it 


213 The bow the more it is bent and occupy ed the weaker 

it waxeth. 

214? The camomill the more it is troden and pressed downe 
the more it spreadeth. 

215 The wiolet the ofter it is handeled and twiched the 

sooner it withereth and decayeth. 

216 The finest edge is made with the blwnt whetstone. 

2 1 7 The finest Jewell is faschioned with the hard hem[mer ?] 

218 Ane sould eit ane buschell of salt wthim quhom he 

meaneth to mak his frende. , 

219 Tryall maketh trust. 

220 Thair is falsheid in fellowschipe. 

221 Lyke will to Lyke. 

222 A longe discourss argueth folie. 

223 Delicate wordes incurre the suspicioun of flatter! c. 

224 The foull taide hathe a fair stoine in his heide. 

225 Gold is funde in the filthy erth. 


226 The sweite kirnell lyeth in the harde schell. 

227 In painted pottes is hidden the deidliest poysoun. 

228 In the cleirest watter is the wgliest taide. 

229 The cypres trie beireth a fair leaf bot no fruit. 

230 The estridge carrieth fair fedderis bot rank flesch. 

231 Promiss is Debt. 

232 The glass anes crazed will w* the leist clap be cracked. 

The transcriber of the above collection died in 
April, 1607. He is alluded to, in the same breath with 
Montgomerie, as a poet, in " Twa Sonnets" by A. S. 
to Sir Wm. Mure of Rowallan.* 

Limited as the foregoing list is, it embraces, so far 
as we know, the whole of our Parsemiologies, whether 
printed or in MS. referring to the northern portion of 
the empire, with the exception of a very good and 
unpretending little collection of Gaelic proverbs, edited 
by Donald Macintosh, and printed at Edinburgh in 
1785. f This volume is accompanied with an English 
translation, and contains many useful explications, and 
historical and traditionary illustrations, altogether very 
creditable to the industry and research of the author. 

* Paisley Magazine, p. 380, in which some additional 
notices of our author will be found. 

j- Gna Fhocail Ghaelich air an tional r'a Cheile A Col- 
lection of Gaelic Proverbs. Edinburgh, 1785, 12mo. 


To this volume, we may perhaps have occasion again 
to refer ; in the meantime, we content ourselves with 
stating, that it helps to establish this important fact, 
that however much nations may he separated from 
each other by difference of language, or of climate, still 
the vast body of their proverbs, is in effect almost the 
same. The moral susceptibilities, the perceptive and 
reasoning powers of the human mind, as well as its 
imaginative faculties, have all their fixed boundaries ; 
and these will, notwithstanding every diversity of 
external circumstance of time and place, almost uni- 
versally develope themselves in a kindred identity of 
form. Not a tithe of the little volume we are speaking 
of consists of proverbs strictly peculiar to our Celtic 
countrymen. In fact, under slight modifications, they 
are common to all the countries of Europe and to the 
Ancients, as well as to the Moderns. 

With a pardonable straining after a high antiquity 
for the proverbs of his countrymen, Macintosh informs 
us, that not a few of them may be viewed as the 
" lessons that many ages ago were given to the people 
by the DRUIDS, who, as we are taught by Diogenes 
Laertius, had made considerable advances in philo- 
sophy, before that study was known to the Greeks," 
and, warming with his subject, he adds, that " without 
being engraven on brass or marble, their just and solid 

xlvi PREFACE. 

sense, hath preserved them in the memories of men, 
and handed them down as a valuable treasure to 
succeeding generations." In such grave mysteries as 
Druidic Gnomology, we pretend to no skill, and for 
aught we know to the contrary, our author may be 
right. If our countrymen of the north lay claim to a 
store of national proverbs, circulating through the great 
Celtic family, antecedent to the dawn of philosophy in 
Greece, the Welsh must have an equal, if not a 
superior title to the same inheritance. In fact, in the 
Bardic remains of those descendents of the ancient 
Britons, we have, as early as the 6th century, abundant 
evidence of their predilection for aphorisms;* while 
at a later period, namely, the 13th century, we find 
several warriors and poets mentioned as being eminent 
collectors of Welsh proverbs, f The triplet stanzas, 
ascribed by Welsh archaiologists to the Druids, uni- 
formly close with a precept of morality, or proverbial 
sentence. Did we not fear that our friend, who has 
been at the pains to father the whole of the present 
collection of wise adages upon the canny Scots, 
would in truth look blue, we could inform him, that 

* Turner's Anglo-Saxons, 
f Jones' Welsh Bards. 

PREFACE. xlvii 

the saying he gives at p. 7, of Blue and better blue, 
is much more felicitously expressed by the Welsh, 

Y gXvdr las, ni chyll mo'i liw 
The true blue keeps its hue. 

while the proverb common to England and Scotland, of 
As sum goes the lamb skin to the market as the auld 
yowes, is just two lines of an old Welsh pennillion : 

Mae gan amled yn y varchnad 
Groen yr Oen, a chroen y Ddavad. 

Having said so much of our collectors of Scottish 
proverbs, it might be expected that we should devote 
a few words to the labours of those who have gathered 
the proverbs of England. The field, however, is too 
extensive for our limits, and distinguished as the names 
are, which appear in connection with this species of 
literature, we are compelled to dismiss them and their 
works, with a brief enumeration in a foot-note, which, 
we daresay, to those conversant with bibliography, 
must appear far from complete. * 

* Foremost in the list appears the illustrious name of Alfred 
the Great. He was noted for his proficiency in proverbs. In 
proverbiis ita enituit ut nemo post ilium amplius. Some col- 
lections of apothegms have been noticed by his biographer, 
Spelman, as extant in the Cottonian MSS., but which have 

xlviil PREFACE. 

A proverb is somewhat difficult of definition. 
Erasmus, in the " Prolegomena" to his immense collec- 

since been destroyed by fire. One of these be translates, and, 
in reference to it, says, " I cannot think it fit to offer them 
into the world as an instance of what the king composed, for 
they are not his very work in the Saxon tongue, but a mis- 
cellany collection of some later author, who, according to his 
own faculty, hath, in broken English, put together such of the 
sayings of King Alfred as he met withal." Wanley says the 
fragment is in Norman-Saxon, " circa tempus Henrici II. 
aut Ricardi I. conscriptum, in quo continentur qusedam ex 
proverbiis et apothegmatis .ZElfridi regis sapientissimi." (Vide 
Turner's Anglo-Saxons; Warton's History of English Poetry; 
Conybeare's Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry; Hickes' 
Thesaurus.) Caxton, the father of English typography, 
printed, in 1478, " The Proverbs of Crystine of Pyse." In 1539, 
a selection of some of the Adages of Erasmus appeared in an 
English dress " Proverbes or Adagies with newe addicions, 
gathered out of the Chiliads of Erasmus by Richard Taverner." 
8vo. Lond. 1539. John Heywood a noted wit and epigram- 
matist of the time of Queen Mary, of whose witty and humorous 
sayings Camden, in his Remaines, has preserved a few wrote 
" A Dialogue conteyninge the number in Effecte of all the 
proverbes in the English Tong compact in a matter concern- 
ing two marriages." Lond. 1547, 1549, 1561, 1562, 1566, 
1587, 1598, and other years, which Warton describes as inter- 
weaving all the proverbs of the English tongue into a very 
silly comic tale, while D' Israeli remarks that the narrative has 
humpur, but the metre and ribaldry are heavy taxes on our 
curiosity. Wilson, in his " Rhetorique," published in 1553, 
while alluding to this volume, helps us at same time to a de- 
finition of a proverb: " The English proverbs gathered by 

PREFACE. xlix 

tiou of adages, has evinced much acuteness and learn- 
ing in sifting the definitions of former writers, and 

John Heiwoode helpe well in this behaulfe (allegory) the 
whiche commounlie are nothyng els but allegories and dark 
devised sentences." Like the Hebrew monarch, who con- 
tributed so largely and so well to the " Words of the Wise 
and their Dark Sayings," Wilson appears to have put a proper 
value on " understanding a proverb and its interpretation." 

" Heywood's thre Hundreth Epigrammes vppon thre hun- 
dreth Proverbes." 4to. 1562. 

" Florio's Merie Proverbes, Wittie Sentences, and Golden 
Sayings." 8vo. 1578. 

" Florio's Garden of Recreation, yielding 6000 Italian 
Proverbes." 8vo. 1591. 

In " Camden's Remaines concerning Britaine" first pub- 
lished in 1605, there is a considerable collection of proverbs, 
for the appearance of which that eminent antiquary states 
that " Whereas Proverbs are concise, witty, and wise speeches, 
grounded upon long experience, containing for the most part 
good caveats, and therefore both profitable and delightful; I 
thought it not unfit to set down here alphabetically some of 
the selected and most usual amongst us as being worthy to 
have place amongst the wisest Speeches." 

A contemporary, John Davies, of whom some particulars 
are given in Wood's Athenae, vol.i. p. 444, exerted him- 
self in the same walk. His volume, which is exceedingly 
scarce, is entitled " The Scourge of Folly, consisting of 
Satyrical Epigrams and others, in honour of many most 
worthy persons of our Land. With a pleasant (though dis- 
cordant) descant upon most English proverbs and others. 
London [no date, but probably 1612] printed by E. A. for 
Richard Redmer, sould at his shop at ye west gate of Paules." 


in showing where they were imperfect or inapplicable. 
His dissertation may be consulted with advantage by 

For the licentious coarseness of his little volume, the vice of 
that age, Davies thus apologises, 

Of the Printer. 

The Printer praies me most vncessantly 

To make some lines to lash at Lechery: 

For that (sayth he) so rellish will the rest 

That they will sell, and still be in request: 

For most men now (set on a merry Pin) 

Laugh to see others plagued for their sin : 

Then reader thinke when thou seest such a straine 
Its for the Lechers paine and Printers gaine. 

His "pleasant (though discordant) descant" runs over 419 
proverbs, and as a specimen of his manner we subjoin the 


Hee'g a Bench Whistler. That is but an ynche 
Whistling an Hunts- vp in the King's bench. 


Ever spare, Ever bare. Proverb you fable, 
For Fooles still get most when they least spare their bulilc. 


Hee's high in the Instep and very straite lac'd. 
That's but some leg, with a straite Buskin grac'd. 


He may do much ill, ere he can do much worse, 
That takes a poor poet's papers or Purse. 


Who is worse shood than the Shoemakers wife? 
Faith Geese that never ware shoes in their life. 


Wishers and Woulders are no good Housholden. 
Yet the best Housholder many times wishes 
He had better meanes to better his dishes. 


the scholar, but it would interfere too much with our 
limits to attempt an analysis of it here. 


Looke ere thou leape. But no good they reape 
That are to be hang'd though they look ere they leape. 


No more can we have of the Fox but the skin. 
Yes, Bones to make dice, which now is no sin. 


There be many more waies to the wood then one. 
But (heere) its false : for our Woods ar al gone. 


Spend and God will send. But wot ye what followed ? 
A Staffe and Wallet the Gaile or the Gallowes 


God nere sends mouthes but he sendee meate. 
Yea if some knew where meat to get. 


Cuft catt's no good Mouse-hunt. Thats but a lest : 
For Wines that be wild catts well cuft still do best. 


The Deuitts in the Horolodge. I think so, 
For the Clockes lye faster (oft) then they go. 


Who so bolde as blynde Bayard ? Yes, one that could see 
Stole the Weather cocke of Paules and yet lame was he. 

" The Crossing of Proverbes, Crosse Answers, and Crosse 
Humours." 8vo. 1616. 

In 1625, Lord Bacon published a small collection of " Apop- 
thegms New and Old." The importance attached by this 
eminent philosopher to these wise sayings, may be seen from the 
following remarks prefixed to his little volume. " Julius Csesar 
did write a Collection of Apopthegmes, as appears in a 
Epistle of Cicero. I need say no more for the worth, of a 
Writing of that nature. It is pitie his Booke is lost : for I 


D'Israeli, who has a highly interesting and valuable 
paper on proverbs, truly observes that " proverbs 

imagine, they were collected, with Judgement and Choice : 
whereas that of Plutarch, and Stoboeus, and much more, the 
Moderne ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly, they are 
of excellent vse. They are Mucrones Verborum, Pointed 
Speeches. Cicero prettily cals them, Salinas, Salt pits ; 
that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle it where you 
will. They serve to be interlaced in continued Speech. 
They serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves. They 
serve, if you take out the kernell of them, and make them 
your owne. I have for my recreation, in my sicknesse, fann'd 
the Old; not omitting any, because they are vulgar; (for 
many vulgar ones are excellent good;) nor for the meannesse 
of the person; but because they are dull, and flat: and added 
many new that otherwise would have died." p. 6. No writer 
has perhaps ever made a more judicious use of proverbs in his 
works than Bacon has done. They meet you at every turn- 
ing, and yet they are so felicitously introduced, that you feel 
the writer has truly made them his own. 

English and Latin Proverbs." 8vo. 1639. 

Another selection of proverbs, entitled " Outlandish Pro- 
verbs, selected by Mr. G. H." [Herbert.] was printed at 
London, 1640, and reprinted in the new edition of " The 
Muses Recreations." 

" Proverbs, English, French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish, 
all Englished and alphabetically digested." 12mo. 1659. 

The voluminous and facetious Howell also made a collection, 
the earliest copy which we have seen being entitled " Proverbs 
or old sawes, adages, &c. by James Howell. Lond. 1659," fol. 

The laborious Ray spent, as he states, ten years upon his 
collection of " English Proverbs, Digested into a convenient 
method for the speedy finding any one upon occasion, with 

PREFACE. liii 

must be distinguished from proverbial phrases, and 
from sententious maxims ; but as proverbs have many 

short annotations, whereunto are added LOCAL PROVERBS with 
their explications, OLD PROVERBIAL RHYTHMES less known 
2d Edit. Cambridge, 1678." 8vo The Scottish proverbs in 
this collection are a reprint from Ferguson. The first edition 
was in 1670. 

" A Collection of Select and excellent Proverbs, and wise 
Sentences out of several languages, useful in discourse and the 
government of life, by Robert Codrington." 8vo. 1672. 

Fuller's Collection of English proverbs, 8vo. 1684," in 
Longman's Catalogue, 1816. 

The praise of Yorkshire ale, 8vo. 1685, and again, 1697, 
contains a collection of proverbs in the Yorkshire dialect. 
The dialect and proverbs of Yorkshire, bear a strong resem- 
blance to our Scottish proverbs and dialect. 

" Select Proverbs in six languages." 12mo. 1707. 
" Dyke's English Proverbs, with moral reflections." 8vo. 

" Palmer's Moral Essays on some of the most significant 
Proverbs, English, Scottish, and Foreign." 8vo. 1710. 

" Aphorisms of Wisdom, or a complete collection of the 
most celebrated Proverbs in the English, Scotch, French, 
Spanish, Italian, and other languages, ancient and modern. 
Collected and Digested by Thomas Fuller, M. D. Lond. 
1732." 12mo. Glasgow, 1814. 12mo. 

Though not strictly coming within the class of works we 
are now enumerating, we may here refer to another work of 
some scarcity and value, namely, " Aphorismes Civill and 
Militarie, amplified with Authorities, and exemplified with 
Historic, out of the first Quarterne of Fr. Guicciardine, by 
R. Dallington, London, 1613, folio." 


faces, from their miscellaneous nature, the class itself 
scarcely admits of any definition. When Johnson 
defined a proverb to be * a short sentence frequently 
repeated by the people,' this definition would not 
include the most curious ones, which have not always 
circulated among the populace, nor even belong to 
them ; nor does it designate vital qualities of a pro- 
verb. The pithy quaintness of old Howell has ad- 
mirably described the ingredients of an exquisite pro- 
verb to be sense, shortness, and salt. A proverb is 
distinguished from a maxim or an apopthegm by that 
brevity which condenses a thought or metaphor where 
one thing is said and another is to be applied, which 
often produces wit ; and that quick pungency which 
excises surprise, but strikes with conviction; which 
gives it an epigrammatic turn." * For all general pur- 
poses, the definition of Disraeli will suffice, and when, 
in a subsequent page, he very happily says, " that these 
abridgments of knowledge convey great results, with a 
parsimony of words prodigal of sense," he describes an 
essential feature in proverbs, namely, the condensation 
of much thought and observation within a small 

* Curiosities of Literature, (new series,) vol. i. p. 423. 


It is an observation of Aristotle, that the nature of 
every thing is best seen in its smallest portion, and for 
this reason perhaps, in examining with a philosophic 
eye these minute fractions of the product of the 
human mind, a larger insight may be obtained of its 
first principles than by a contemplation of more 
cumbrous masses. In speculations upon our common 
nature, and the occurrences of civil life, it is too often 
the case that we look at the greater features, omitting 
the smaller, although upon these slender wires hang 
often the greatest weights. The study of proverbs 
may therefore be more instructive and comprehensive 
than the most elaborated scheme of philosophy; and in 
relation to changes in the manners of a people, then- 
customs, and various minute incidents connected either 
with places or persons, they often preserve par- 
ticulars which contemporary history has failed to 
record. We have no doubt, that from the present 
volume much instructive commentary and illustration 
could be derived, and it is a matter of regret to us, 
that the author has not launched forth into this 
spacious and almost shoreless sea of argument. Should 
a second edition be called for, we trust, however, that 
this will be done. The application of many of the 
proverbs, and their accommodation to times and cir- 
cumstances, is frequently not obvious : the allusions 


are often obscure, and their direct, as well as figurative 
significations, not unfrequently difficult of solution or 

Among an ancient people, we deem it next to im- 
possible to say what are their indigenous proverbs. 
The main guides we have in this inquiry are reducible, 
we believe, to historical or local incident, national 
manners, or climatorial differences. Beyond this we 
cannot well go, for, as we have before observed, the 
large body of the proverbs of every nation appear to 
be common property. Among rude and infant com- 
munities, therefore, we must look for the manner in 
which aphoristic wisdom first germinates and unfolds 
itself, and it gives us pleasure, that a friend of our 
author * has put into our hands, a psychological 
curiosity of this sort, strikingly illustrative of our 
subject. It is a few proverbs, common among the 
negroes in the colony of Demerara, which we transcribe, 
with an interpretation into the Buckra mans language. 

Hungry dogs nam ra earn. Hungry dogs will eat raw 


When belly fou broke pot When the belly is full the 

pot is broken. 

* Mr. James Robertson, Demerara. 



Buck ra man iiam crab : 
Crab nam buckra man. * 

That crab that aye lie in hi 
hole he never fat. 

Safly, safly, catch monkey, 
ye hiri. 

That time you meet nigger 
wid hair bottom of hi 
hand, he honest nigger. 

White men eat the crab : 
And the crab eats the white 

The crab that always lies in 
his hole is never fat: 
applied to lazy people, 
and synonimous to our 
A gloved cat catches 
no mice, or to the Ice- 
landic adage in the Hava- 
maal part of the more an- 
cient Edda The sleep- 
ing wolf gains not the 
prey, neither the drowsy 
man the victory. 

They must go softly that 
catch a monkey, ye hear ! 

When you meet a negro with 
hair in the hollow of his 
hand,that negro is honest. 

* This axiom of retributive justice, will, in all probability, 
when Negro literature arrives at some perfection, be turned 
into rhyme, by a slight inversion, thus 

4 Buckra man crab nam : 

Crab nam buckra man. 

This word nam is rather curious. A child when eating 
any thing that pleases its palate, uniformly shakes its bead, 
and says Nam, nam. From this root, the old word NIM, 
to snatcb, steal, or pick up, is obviously deducible. 




That time cockroach gie When the cockroach gives 

dance, he no ask fowl to 
come dere. 

a dance, he will not 
ask the fowls to come 
there. In Demerara, 
cockroaches are very 
plenty, and the domestic 
fowls are fond of feeding 
upon them. 

You ever see buckra man Did you ever see a white 
put rat for watchman man set a rat to watch 
cheeze ? his cheese ? 

That time you can't suck When you can't suck your 
mammy ye must suck mother, you must suck 
daddy. your father. 

" There is," says one of the first historians of the day, 
" an education of mind distinct from the literary, which 
is gradually imparted by the contingencies of active 
life," * an education which we may add, in the words 
of Bacon, is that " which raarshalls on a man to his 
'fortune," f and in this, says our author, first referred 
to, " which is always the education of the largest 
portion of mankind, our ancestors were never deficient." 
The truth of this observation is to be found in the 
able exposition which this industrious and philosophical 

* Turner's Anglo-Saxons, 
f Advancement of Learning. 


writer has given of Saxon literature and civilization. 
That we have quoted him now, arises from our con- 
viction, that he has enunciated a great truth applicable 
to all stages of society, as well as every family of 
man ; and which, even low as the average of Negro 
intellect is universally understood to be, receives con- 
firmation in the shrewd, sarcastic, and somewhat pithy 
proverbs which are current among them, of which the 
above specimen furnishes but, a slight idea. 

It may be gathered, from the general remarks inci- 
dentally scattered over the preceding pages, that we 
deem it almost impossible to assign to any particular 
nation, or age, its just share of that immense accumula- 
tion of fragmental wisdom, humour, drollery, allegory, 
metaphor, civil prudence, and observation of life and 
external nature, which, under the comprehensive name 
of proverbs, has, since the infancy of mankind, lived 
upon the breath of popular tradition. The identity of 
human nature has necessarily produced a correspon- 
dence and parallelism in the proverbs of every nation. 
Savage or civilized, ancient or modern, this affinity 
and resemblance can be most distinctly established. 
Even the Negro proverb above quoted the crab that 
ever lies in his hole is never fat taken in connection 
with the two equivalent ones there adduced, is an 
evidence in point. The same idea is brought out by 


the whole three ; but local circumstances have modified 
the symbols used for its expression. This, however, 
is a proverb framed upon general observation; but 
even in local idiomatic proverbialisms we find equally 
remarkable coincidences. In Scotland, we have To 
carry saut to Dysart, and puddings to Tranent : in 
England To carry coals to Newcastle: while, among 
the Hebrews, we have To carry oil to a city of olives: 
and, among the Persians To carry pepper to Hin- 
doostan. In England, To dine with Duke Humphrey 
was another phrase for a poor fellow picking his teeth 
upon an empty stomach ; while, in Scotland, according 
to Francis Sempill's " Banishment of Poverty," to 
dine with St. Giles and Earl of Murray, had a similar 
uncomfortable signification.* Two other instances 
of similarity between these idiomatic proverbialisms 
we may adduce. In England, to put a man in prison 
is rather elegantly expressed as fitting him with a 
stone doublet ; while here, it appears from the evidence 
of Andrew Henderson, a witness examined regarding 

" We twa gaid paceing there our lanes, 
The hungry hours 'twixt twelve and ane, 
When I kent na way how to fen ; 
My guts rumbl'd like a Hurle burrow ; 
I dined with Saincts and Noblemen, 
Even sweet St. Giles and Earle of Murray." 


the Gowrie Conspiracy, that the same idea was con- 
veyed by the expression to mak breeks for Mac- 
coneldhu.* Among the modern Greeks, according to 
Professor Negris, we have Mgyg<yy deixgvoc, Megaren- 
sian tears: applied to those who weep insincerely,-^ 
and among the ancient Irish, the phrase To weepe Irish, 
had a like signification. J 

But it is not in the proverbs of nations alone that 
we see this very marked uniformity. In their mytho- 
logies, their systems of philosophy, superstitions, and 
works of imagination or of humour, the like identity is 
discovered. Mind, in all its manifestations and at 

* Vide account of Gowrie Conspiracy appended to the 
Muses Threnodie. 

f " The Megarenses had men eminently skilled in this kind 
of weeping, whose business it was to bewail the Dead, and 
hence the proverb." Negris Dictionary of Modem Greek 
Proverbs. Edin 1831. 

\ " They follow the dead corpse to the grave with howl- 
ings and barbarous out cryes, pittyfull in appearance, whereof 
grew as (I suppose) the proverbe to weepe Irish Campions 
Historic. Spenser, in his view of Ireland gives us a common 
saying strikingly illustrative of the reckless character of the 
Irish peasantry to this day, it is Spend me and Defend me, 
the value of which, we believe, is fully apprehended by the 
political agitators of that unhappy country. 


all times, is uniform and unchangeable. Its crystalliza- 
tions, if we may be permitted to make use of the 
phrase, appear to be all governed by certain general 
and well defined laws, and ever shape themselves into 
the same indestructible forms. With these laws, every 
seeming deviation or exception can easily be recon- 
ciled, and a beautiful congruity and harmony estab- 
lished in all that relates to the creations of the uni- 
versal mind. It would be foreign from our purpose 
to launch into that wide sea of speculation, which the 
enunciation of such views in some measure calls for ; 
but we only state them for the purpose of provoking 
the reader to a course of study on proverbs, more ex- 
tended in its range than was the case at the revival of 
letters and the times of Erasmus, when all inquiry on 
such a subject was bounded within the comparatively 
narrow limits of Hellenic lore. That truly learned 
man has indicated, to a certain extent, the source from 
which the proverbs of Greece were derived ; but an 
acquaintance with Oriental literature would have car- 
ried him back to still more ancient fountain heads. 
Beneath we give his words, but without the examples 
he quotes, our limits obliging us to be as concise as 
possible.* Of the collectors of proverbs, both among 

* " UNDE SUMANTUR ADAGIA. Veniunt igitur in vulgi ser- 



the Greeks and Romans, as well as the middle ages, 
the same writer furnishes a comprehensive list. His 
contemporary, Polidore Vergil's labours, he omitted 
to notice, although that writer preceded him in the 
same path; but betwixt the value or magnitude of 
their respective works no comparison can be insti- 

Ere letters were invented, wisdom was abroad in 
the world. Proverbs were the germs of moral and po- 
litical science, and they not unfrequently constituted the 

monem vel ex oraculis minimum ; vel a Sapientum dictis, quae 
quidem antiquitas oraculorum instar celebravit. Vel e poeta 
quopiam maxinie vetusto. Siquidem dum linguae adhuc incor- 
ruptae manerent, poetarum versus in conviviis etiam caneban- 
tur. Vel e scena, hoc est, tragicorum et comicorum actis 
fabulis. Praecipue vero comoediae mutuo quodam commercio 
et usurpat pluraque jactata vulgo, et gignit, traditque vulgo 
jactanda. Nonnulla ducuntur ex fabularum argumentis. Quae- 
dam trahuntur ex apologis. Aliquot ex eventu nascuntur. Ex 
historiis aliquo mutuo sumpta sunt. Qusedam profecta sunt ex 
apopthegmatis. Sunt quae ex verbo temere dicto sunt arrepta. 
Denique mores, ingenium seu gentis, sive hominis alicujus 
sive etiam animantis : postremo rei quoque vis quaepiam insig- 
nis, ac vulgo nota, locum fecerunt adagio." D. ERASMI 


p. 2. Editio ROBERTI STEPHANI, 1558. 

* Polydori Vergilii Urbinatis Adagiorum opus per autorem 
et diligenter recognitum et magnifice locupletatum Basileae 
apud Jo. Frob. An. M.D.XXV. 


compendious vehicles for the transmission of the dog- 
mas of religion, and the first principles of philosophy, 
of arts, and sciences. In this shape, oral tradition pre- 
served among primitive ages the knowledge of times 
still more remote; and what marble, and brass, and 
other devices of human invention have allowed to 
perish, proverbs, floating upon the living voice, have 
perpetuated. It would form no incurious speculation 
to analyse the various ingenious aids resorted to in the 
construction of these short sentences, to give them 
currency and furnish aids to the memory. Brevity is a 
distinguishing characteristic of them all. Weight of sen- 
timent and justness of metaphor ought to be another, 
to justify the eulogy of Tillotson, where he says, 
" the little and short sayings of wise and excellent 
men are of great value, like the dust of gold or the 
least sparks of diamonds." Antithetical point recom- 
mends one class ; alliteration, or consonance of letters, 
another. Some excite attention by a witty and unex- 
pected combination of ideas, and others by a caustic or 
sly humour ; while not a few, and these perhaps not 
the least numerous nor least ancient, can be no other- 
wise described than as an old writer expresses it 

Rymes running in a rattling row ; 
which class we are inclined to affiliate upon our Scan- 


dinavian ancestors. To rime a rat to death, is an 
English proverb, and with Sir William Temple we 
concur in thinking it a vestige of Scandic superstition, 
referring to the magical powers ascribed to the Gothic 

Proverbs are, to the vulgar, not merely a sort of 
metaphysical language, but a kind of substitute for 
philosophical principles. A man whose mind has been 
enlarged by education, and who has a complete mastery 
over the riches of his native language, expresses his 
ideas in his own words ; and when he refers to any 
thing beyond the matter under his view, glances towards 
an abstract principle. A vulgar man, on the other 
hand, uses those proverbial forms which tradition and 
daily use have made familiar to him; and when he 
makes a remark which needs confirmation, he clenches 
it by a proverb. Thus both, though in a different 
way, illustrate the observation of Lord Bacon, that 
" The nature of man doth extremelye covet to have 
something fixed and immoveable, and as a Rest and 
support of the mind." 

Cervantes, in painting the characters of Don Quixote 
and his sapient squire, the inimitable Sancho, has ex- 
cellently well brought out the distinction to which we 
refer. The Don is a gentleman of education a man 
of fine fancy and feeling, whose mind has been imbued, 


not less with classical ideas than romantic notions, and 
who, on all subjects except that on which his madness 
turns, is the most refined, the most disinterested, 
generous, and rational of human beings. Sancho, on 
the other hand, is a personification of the vulgar mind : 
low, selfish, and cunning, and also so far mad as to give 
credence to his master's wildest fancies, in as much as 
they seemed to chime in with his own hopes and wishes. 
On all occasions the Don ever expresses himself like 
a scholar and a gentleman, Sancho like one of the 
vulgar herd. The knight uses his own words to ex- 
press his own ideas ; but the vocabulary of the squire 
is the inexhaustible proverbs of his country. Before 
quitting this subject, we may refer to the admirable 
rules laid down by the knight for Sancho's guidance 
in the use of proverbs, before assuming the govern- 
ment of Barateria, as of general application. They 
relieve us from dogmatising upon that point, and they 
agree with the rules laid down by Aristotle in his 
Rhetoric with regard to epithets, namely, that in 
discourse they ought to be used as mere condiments, 
not as food. 

On the eternal relations of mankind, and their indis- 
tructible passions and feelings, the proverbs of all 
countries present, as we have formerly stated, a strik- 
ing conformity ; and all that remains for us here is to 


observe that their number, in relation to any given 
passion or propensity, will be found in proportion to 
the depth of feeling which is excited by its exercise, 
and the degree in which it is under human control 
and management. 

The author has digested his book into common- 
places, and, looking to the head of " Old Age," we 
find only three or four ideas comprehended under it. 
Age is considered with respect to marriage to poverty 
to feebleness, and consequent caution induced there- 
by to its effects on the mind, and the feelings of, and 
palliation for, a woman who marries an old fellow, 
are glanced at. If the collection be perfect on this 
head, then these, it seems, are all the ideas which are 
really found of daily use in the practice of Scottish 
human life. It might be amusing to compare these 
few ideas with the train of thinking pursued in a philo- 
sophical treatise on old age, Cicero, for example, 
and to place in opposition the reflections of a contem- 
plative and highly cultivated intellect with the few 
practical hints floating in the common mind. 

In the proverbs ranged under the name of the 
Deity, it is delightful to see the views that are enter- 
tained of his providence and merciful forbearance. 
There is nothing of the Jewish notions of vengefulness 
here. God trusts every man with the care of his ain 


soul, is a religious maxim evidently of Reform origin. 
God is kind to fou folk and bairns. When they fall 
they do not hurt themselves. Such are the homely 
instances adduced of the goodness of the Deity. 

Looking at the proverbs arranged under the dif- 
ferent heads, as illustrative of those qualities that go 
to the formation of national character, we believe 
every one must be struck by the caution, shrewdness, 
penetration, humour, and, frequently, wit, of many of 
the observations, and the constant stream of good 
sense that runs through them, and feel respect for the 
individuals who would make this manual, and the 
maxims which it contains, the guide of their practice. 
Under the head of " Bairns " there are remarks on 
education, on natural propensities, and on parental 
indulgence, of which many volumes that have been 
written are only amplifications. Under "Gluttony," 
we have remarks on dietetics; and, under " Drinking," 
on intoxication, &c., which are, in fact, the text and 
germ of many volumes. As a national characteristic, 
however, we think it may be safely laid down, from a 
perusal of this work, that for every time a Scot speaks 
of eating, he thinks thrice of his drink. 

It is worthy of remark, that we have nothing 
almost of politics, and as little directly, unless a 
satirical hit, of religion. Perhaps both the one and 


the other may have been considered too much out of 
the way of folk who found themselves busied, and 
more profitably occupied with their own callings than 
with matters which they could not well understand 
or easily control. Kings have lang lugs, (p. 39,) is but a 
part of the proverb. According to Bellenden's transla- 
tion of Boece, it is All kingis hes scharp sicht and 
lang eiris. The English have Kings have long 
arms, which is synonimous with our Gentil puddocks 
have lang taes. 

The proverbs clustered under the horns of that 
venerable antiquity, the Devil, are certainly not the 
least amusing in the book. Of his external appear- 
ance, we have nothing but his notable attribute of 
horns, which he has enjoyed as long as King Arthur. 
His inner man is, however, very fully depicted. He 
hates holy water, is subject to God greedy, active, 
over-reaching sometimes a simpleton, and occasionally 
a satirist, for nothing more bitter was ever uttered by 
an unsuccessful litigant against our Supreme Court of 
Judicature, than the saying fathered upon him, and 
at one period its very truth constituted its extreme 
pungency Hame is Jiamely, quo the Deil, when he 
fond himsell in the Court of Session. The proverb 
may still apply to the English Court of Chancery. 

While we are talking of the Devil, it has been 


remarked to us by an ingenious friend who has gone 
over this collection, that it seems strange that no pro- 
verbs have been found bearing reference to a class of 
his subjects, namely, witches, in sufficient number to 
require a distinct head. The same observation he 
makes in relation to that interesting class of supernat- 
ural beings, the fairies, so frequently alluded to by our 
poets, and so popular in romantic songs and traditionary 
story. As our friend has contributed a mite to the 
history of our national superstitions, we have cast it into 
a foot-note, for the benefit of all who love to pore over 
the annals of the invisible world.* 

* " WITCHES. I see, indeed, one or two sentences in the book 
referring to witches, but when we recollect how general and firm 
the belief was in the existence of this supernatural race, I 
cannot well account for the omission. Within my own recol- 
lection, the belief was current in my native parish. The great- 
grandfather of one I know, on a Beltane, or May morning, was 
out early with his gun, and, to his great consternation, found 
two neighbour carlmes whom he had long suspected, but 
never had caught in the act of witchcraft before, with a long 
hair tether brushing the May-day dew off the pasture fields. 
He came on them somewhat by surprise, when they fled, and 
left the instrument of their incantation behind, which he 
carefully gathered up and carried home, and, without telling 
any body, placed it above the door by which his milk cows had 
to go to their stalls at milking time. The effect was, that 
the women, when they proceeded to milk the cows at the 


For our obliviousness regarding witches we have 
our reasons. The country is thoroughly ashamed, it 

breakfast hour, could not find dishes to hold the supply of 
milk that, to their surprise and consternation, the cows 
yielded, till the old gentleman had taken down and submitted 
to the action of fire the charmed rope, when all went on in 
the usual way. There were a number of knots on the rope, 
every one of which, when burning, gave an explosion like a 
pistol-shot. I remember myself an old woman whom I used to 
see daily, on my road to school, who used constantly to have 
pieces of red thread and cuts of a young rowan-tree tied up 
in her cows' tails, as a countercharm ; and, when a boy, one 
of them having died, I asked her the ailment, when she told 
me seriously, that the beast was elf-shot: she believed in 
witchcraft, and, in return, her neighbours had set her down 
as a witch, and a celebrated witch-finder was said, on more 
occasions than one, to have brought her gasping for breath to 
houses from which he had been called to remove her cantrips. 
She could also assume the form of a mawkin at pleasure, and 
many is the morning that I have awaked, having pursued her 
with my dog, in metamorphosed shape, till, behind a hill or a 
bush, lo ! up she would start in her own human shape. I 
mention this gossip only to show the prevalence of this pre- 
judice, which I apprehend was spread over the country, and I 
am therefore surprised to find so little allusion to it in these 
traditionary ideas. 

" FAIRIES. There is another superstition to which I am 
also surprised to find no allusion whatever, I mean the fairies. 

' In glens the fairies skip and dance, 
m And witches wallop o'er to France,' 


may be supposed, by tbis time, of the horrid cruelties 
which were perpetrated upon the poor creatures who 

says the old song. .These superstitions were, I believe, con- 
temporaneous and coextensive in Scotland ; and it is curious 
that they are not found alluded to, even indirectly, so far as I 
can see, in these fragments of popular ideas. We must all 
remember fairy-knowes, and fairy-mills, and fairy-burns, in 
almost every parish. I remember a pretty little green knoll 
in the vicinity of my birth-place, where an honest old woman 
descried a pretty fairy dressed in green, with fine flaxen locks. 
In a moment he evanished from her sight. Many is the time 
and oft that I have gone to the spot, to try to get a glimpse 
of him, but all in vain. But it was not individually that they 
were wont to appear. A neighbour of mine in the country, 
still alive, has often told me, not as a fancy, but as a veritable 
fact, that his father, one morning, when a young man, saw a 
whole band of these good folks coming out of one cave in the 
side of a hill, with music, and just as the sun was peering 
over the eastern horizon of a morning in June, going into 
another. He knew the tune that was played, and there were 
frequent shots let off, and the honest man believed it to be a 
fairy wedding. The place where they came out of I know 
as well as the room where I now write, and a noted resort of 
fairies it was. The farmer in the farm next to it had, in days 
of yore, gone to a brewery in the next village for a pitcher of 
ale. On his return home, hearing music in the craig, his 
curiosity prompted him to look in, where he saw a party 
weaving the mazy dance, in the most beautiful style ; when a 
pretty young fairy, in a green gown, offered to be partner to 
the gash old carle in a set ; and so well did he acquit himself, 
as to draw plaudits from the little folk, ' Well skipped, old 
Craigash.' When about to depart, he found lhat his ale 

PREFACE. Ixxiii 

lay under the suspicion of being hand and glove with 
Satan. Kelly, however, preserves one 

Ye breed o' the witches ye can do nae gude to yoursel. 

which, while it illustrates the selfish turn of our 
countrymen, at the same time commemorates a fact 
which ever comes out prominently upon all the trials 
of these victims of superstition with which our criminal 
records are disgraced. 

If our ingenious correspondent regrets the absence 
of allusion to witches and fairies in the volume, it 
seems however to preserve a reference to one who 
had the character in popular story of being a consum- 

had been made free with by the dancers, without his permis- 
sion, and when he was about to blame the liberty that had 
been taken, he received some significant hints that he had 
better begone, in case a worse thing should befal him, which, 
in the end, he was glad to do I could fill a nursery tale- 
book with similar stories, and I suppose most persons who 
have spent their younger days in the country can do the same, 
and on that account I cannot help feeling surprise at the 
want of all allusion to this superstition." 

In Mr. Pitcairn's "Criminal Trials," and in " Law's Memo- 
rials," edited by Mr. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, there is a fine store 
of such relations. Some rhymes connected with Witchcraft 
and Fairies occur in Chambers' curious collection, entitled 
" Popular Rhymes of Scotland." 



mate magician, namely, Wagner, the disciple of Dr. 
Faustus. At least, we suppose, that thctagh there be a 
slight variation in the spelling, the same personage is 
alluded to in this proverbial comparison, As fause 
as Waghorn, and he was nineteen times fauser than 
the Deil.* As to fairies, only one proverb occurs in 
Kelly's collection Fair come they, and fair go they, 
and aye their heels hithermost. And in the proverb, 
Neither sae sinfu as to sink, nor sae holy as to soom, 
we have obviously an allusion to the ordeal of water, 
to which witches were so frequently subjected. 

It has been a common error with the parsemiogra- 
phers of this fastidious age, to purge their collections 
so far as their sense of conventional delicacy reaches, 
of all impureness of expression. We are not partial to 
obscenity of any description, but as honest students of 
human nature, and national character, we cannot sym- 
pathise in this affected regard for the purity of morals, 
or rather of written language, which the verbal re- 
finements of a particular day seek to enforce. A clean 
tongue and a foul stomach, an open brow and a false 
heart, are not unfrequently found united nulla fronte 

* The second Report of Doctor John Faustus, containing 
his appearances, and the deeds of Wagner. London, 1594. 
Reprinted in Thorn's of ancient English Fictions. 


fides. But the cleanness of the one, or the openness 
of the other, does not alter the nature of that of which 
they should be as true an index as the shadow of the dial 
spike is of the sun's course, upon the graduated scale of 
time. Besides these revolting and unrefined illustra- 
tions, gathered as they for the most part are from the 
commonest, as they may be the most mortifying infirmi- 
ties or offices of nature, are in themselves often more 
pungent, apt, quaint, ludicrous, and striking, than those 
which are derived from a more elevated stock of ideas. 
As illustrative of the domestic habits, civil economy, 
and living speech of a people, they are frequently 
invaluable. Why should mere types be more disgust- 
ing than the things themselves ? This shrinking from 
ourselves from a fair exposition of our own nature 
and habits, is, according to our notions, utterly con- 
temptible. It is only a vicious device to trick the 
soul of its integrity, and to divert our moral feelings 
from their right channels, that this circumlocutory 
horror of indecency in colloquial discourse has been 
invented. To wrap nasty ideas up in clean linen, is 
one sure sign of a degenerate and emasculate age. 
A spade is a spade all the world over, and is so 
understood, however it may be expressed. And* 
they that have eaten the cow, and worry at its rump, 
or cry salt, like the souter, after swallowing the hide, 


only betray a fastidiousness of ear, which is as unphi- 
losophical as it is ridiculous, and positively injurious 
to right thinking and pure morals. In the distress of 
Ray, at the charge brought against him for introducing 
into his collection some proverbs which, even in his 
day, by no means so squeamish as the present, were 
reckoned too indelicate, we can sympathise ; and we 
fully subscribe to the judicious remarks which he urges 
in extenuation of his offence. In the present volume, 
we observe the foul have been carefully sifted from the 
fair, and a considerable number, consequently of the 
rudest and commonest of our proverbs omitted. As 
a man of the world, studying the taste of his own brief 
day, our author may be justifiable, but as a philosopher, 
as -an historian of manners, or a severe antiquary, he is 
most decidedly wrong. 

The domestic habits of a people are best known by 
their proverbs. We regret to perceive that, when 
we apply this rule to ourselves, the Scots cannot boast 
of much cleanliness. Under the head of " Dirt," 
there appears no less than fifteen sayings, one half of 
which at least, have been contrived to excuse filthiness. 
It is curious to notice the different feelings which are 
appealed to in behalf of personal and domestic slovenli- 
ness and nastiness. Republican feelings are appealed to 
in Dirt defies the king! covetous propensities and 


superstitious conceits are conciliated in Dirt bodes luck, 
fears of personal safety are soothed ia The mair dirt 
the less hurt; and to wind up the climax, our notions 
of individual comfort are rather startlingly excited by 
the announcement The clartier the cosier/ With all 
Mr. Henderson's industry, we observe that one com- 
mon proverb, Dirt parts companie, has been omitted, 
and which we would not have supplied, had it not 
been mentioned with becoming respect in " The Muses 
Threnodie." We suspect the filthy domestic habits of 
the Scots, were not improved by their long intercourse 
with the French, certainly the nastiest of civilized people. 
In glancing over this volume, we find no allusion to 
literary tastes or to books ; but in the saying, Out of 
Davy Lindsay into Wallace., the interesting fact is 
handed down to us of the popularity of the works of 
Lindsay and Henry the Minstrel ; and, indeed, Kelly 
says that both were commonly read in the schools. 
In Kelly, too, we have an allusion to an early alman- 
ack monger, Buchanans Almanack, lang foul and 
lang fair, which description will still apply well to 
the penny almanacks of Aberdeen. The singular 
reputation in which the noble poem of Blind Harry, 
and writings of Sir David Lindsay were held by the 
populace of Scotland, is farther confirmed by the sayings 
which, in the country, we hear every day, when incre- 


dulity is wished to be expressed, Yell no find that in 
Davy Lindsay ; or, There s no sic a word in a 

While referring to the historic poem of Blind 
Harry, it reminds us that his hero, in some of the 
most striking passages of his eventful career, made a 
happy use of proverbialisms. At the field of Falkirk, 
Wallace addressed his army in these laconic terms, 
" I haif brocht ye to the ring; hop gif ye can:" a pro- 
verbial expression which we believe is still in common 
use. Connected with the name of Wallace, we have 
another proverb, alluded to in " Langloft's Chronicle," 
which we quote, as fixing its antiquity to a certain 
extent. Itfallis in his eighe that hewes ouer hie with 
the Walays. The same, under a slight verbal change, 
occurs in Ferguson's collection. He that hewes ower 
hie the spail will fall in his ee. 

Some exceedingly interesting changes in the con- 
dition of society, the domestic economy of our ances- 
tors, and references to historical events, are preserved 
in these laconisms, to which we would most willingly 
allude, were it not that our observations have already 
extended far beyond our limits. A number of pro- 
verbs seem to have taken their rise from some striking 
characteristics of distinguished families, while others, 
from being their favourite maxims, have become 


general throughout the country. The noble and 
potent family of Douglas had ever a relish for 
these homely saws, and in Hume of Godscroft's 
history, no inconsiderable number may be picked up. 
Better hear the laverock whistle than the mouse 
cheep, was a favourite maxim of the Douglasses, and 
its interpretation appears to correspond with the 
English one of Better a castle of bones than of 
stones.* One proverb alludes to our long Stewart 
dynasty of Kings, Ye re no a sib to the king though 
your name be Stewart; and the melancholy regret 
of deep-rooted attachment to the exiled family, is 
forcibly brought out in this impressive moral reflection, 
Every thing has its time, and sae had kings of 
Stewart line. Even James the Sixth, whose passion 
for woodcraft was as noted as his claims to distinction 

* " It was early discovered that the English surpass 
their neighbours in the arts of assaulting or defending forti- 
fied places. The policy of the Scottish, therefore, deterred 
them from erecting upon the borders buildings of such extent 
and strength, as, being once taken by the foe, would have been 
capable of receiving a permanent garrison. To themselves, 
the woods and hills of their native country were pointed out 
by the great Bruce as their safest bulwarks ; and the maxim 
of the Douglasses, that it was better to hear the lark sing 
than the mouse cheep' was adopted by every border chief." 
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Introduction p. Ixxii. 


for kingcraft, has, from this circumstance, given rise to 
the proverb Peace gae wi ye, as King Jamie said 
to his hounds.* Many proverbs acquire importance 
from the circumstances under which they have been 
applied. Of this sort is the one Ye have said weel, 
but wha will bell the cat 9 and which conferred on 
Archibald, sixth earl of Angus, the soubriquet of Bell 
the Cat. At the raid of Ruthven, when James the Sixth 
was surprised by the Master of Glamis, and was resent- 
ing the indignity offered by that party to his person, 
the Master turned round upon him with the proverb 
Better bairns greet than bearded men. James had a 
vast liking for proverbs, and they were ever in his 
mouth ; and the one which he used Deil tah me but 
like is an ill mark, acquires importance from the story 
connected with it.f 

* It is applied by a mother to a troublesome cluster of little 
urchins, when she gets them soothed and turned out of doors 
to amuse themselves. 

f " A report is handed down that Lord Gowrie's brother 
received from the queen a ribband which she had got from the 
king, that Mr. Alexander went into the king's garden at 
Falkland on a sultry hot day, and lay down in a shade and 
fell asleep. His breast being open, the king past that way 
and discovered part of the ribband about his neck below his 
gravat, upon which he made quick haste into the palace, which 
was observed by one of the queen's ladies who past the same way. 


A very numerous class originating from historical or 
local incidents, might be enumerated; but we are 
reluctantly compelled to omit all illustration of this 
interesting class, trusting that the reader, in the course 
of his studies, will be able to connect many with 
interesting features of history or local traditions. In- 
deed, to do this satisfactorily, it would be necessary 
to add a commentary to each proverb of this sort as 
it occurs in the collection, which we hope to see yet 
done in some future edition. 

A number of anecdotes connected with proverbs we 
had been at the pains of collecting, for the delectation 
of the courteous reader, but these, like some more 
valuable things, we have been necessitated to throw 
overboard for the present. One only we shall relate, and 
as it shows how the study of proverbs tends to diminish 
crime, to do away with foolish customs, and excite good 

She instantly took the ribband from his neck, went a nearer 
way to the queen's closet, where she found her majesty at 
her toilet, whom she requested immediately to lay the ribband 
in a drawer: she quickly retired, telling her majesty that she 
would presently see reason for it; in a short time the king came 
in, and demanded a sight of the ribband he had lately given 
her. Her majesty opened the drawer, and presented the 
ribband to him, which, when he had attentively considered, 
he delivered to her majesty, and retired, muttering these 
words, Dell tak me but LIKE is an HI mark" Muses 

Ixxxii PREFACE. 

humoured feelings in place of their opposite, we think 
no apology is necessary for here introducing it. 

An intimate friend of our own, a gentleman of 
some eccentricity of character, was at one period of 
his life a very assiduous collector of proverbs. He 
piqued himself not a little upon his store of proverbial 
colloquialisms, and, in all argumentative matters, was 
sure to silence his opponents by fairly pouring into 
them a broadside of proverbs, great and small, light 
and heavy, pat or unpat, no matter which, if he only 
kept up a raking fire of this sort of verbal shot. At 
the time we speak of, it was his custom to note down 
every proverb which he might overhear in the course 
of conversation, on slips of paper, from which he 
transferred them to his magnum opus, when leisure 
occurred. In this way, there seldom was card, letter, 
or scrap of paper on his person, but was literally 
groaning with " rusty sayed sawes" and proverbial 
rhymes. No bee could be busier in sucking from 
every flower its pith and flavour, than our collector 
was in registering upon his sybilline leaves the fruits 
of every day's quest after these insulated morsels of 
wit and wisdom. 

On one occasion, he had been invited to a large 
party at a friend's house, where there happened to be 
not a few strangers present. Our friend, fortunately, 


we think, as the sequel will show, had forgotten to 
disgorge his pockets of their multifarious contents. 
Well, the good things disappeared, and the wine fol- 
lowed, and, with every bottle, the conversation as- 
sumed a more lively character. How some misun- 
derstanding with our collector and another gentleman 
at the table arose, we cannot well explain, but cer- 
tainly their words waxed high, and to such a degree 
was their dispute carried, that an abrupt termination 
was put to the festivities of the evening by the man 
of proverbs handing over his card to the stranger. 
Nothing, of course, was spoken of by the grave part 
of the company but this disagreeable quarrel, and the 
still more disagreeable results to which next morning's 
dawn must unavoidably give rise. 

Next morning came, and the gentleman began to 
bestir himself, as, according to the rules of honour, 
he must do, when there is a personal injury to be 
avenged. With the man of proverbs he was deeply 
enraged, and to refresh his memory as to name and 
address, he had recourse to the card put into his hands 
over night. He looked first at one side, then at the 
other, but name or place on neither could be found ; 
but, in place of that, there was traced, in good legible 

HURRY, BUT CATCHING FLEAS." The effect of this W88 


irresistible. Mr. fell into an uncontrollable fit of 

laughter, and, with veiy altered feelings from those 
with which he left his couch, immediately called upon 
a mutual friend, where such explanations were given 
as to the quarrel of the evening before, that a hostile 
meeting was in a moment quashed. Had it not been, 
however, for this fortunate incident of proverb gather- 
ing, there is no saying how matters would have ended. 
We, knowing all the circumstances, are entitled to say 
that but for this excellent aphorism, one or two valu- 
able lives might have been sacrificed to notions of false 

Our desultory remarks, we find, have considerably 
exceeded the limits usually assigned to a preface, and 
we cannot think of longer taxing the reader's patience. 
Notwithstanding our prolixity, the interesting subject 
of our national proverbs is far from being exhausted, 
and indeed many topics connected with it we have 

purposely avoided, aware that, to do them justice, 
would have converted this slight essay into a volume 
of considerable magnitude. At our outset, we thought 
we could have accomplished more within the same 
space ; but, with all our endeavours to compress, we 
must candidly confess we have been able to realise no 
more than a half of the sketch we purposed to give. 
The present collection of Scottish proverbs is more 



ample than any that has preceded it Without stick- 
ling at what may be strictly denominated the indigen- 
ous proverbs, Mr. Henderson has, very properly, we 
think, taken a wider latitude, and published all that 
circulated among his countrymen, whether exotick or 
of home growth. The currency and general use of 
the proverb are indeed the only things which ought to 
be attended to in gathering the proverbs of a people 
at a particular period. A careful perusal of early 
history and poetry, we believe, would have largely in- 
creased the stock of our national adages ; but as many 
of these have fallen aside through the lapse of time, 
they could not well be revived in a work which pro- 
fesses to confine itself to those in present use. Some 
of the proverbs occurring in this volume, we believe, 
however, can only be considered of local or provincial 
existence, and not generally current over Scotland. 
These, we think, the author, in the event of a second 
edition, should distinguish from the mass, and indicate 
the localities to which they belong. 

Among collectors of proverbs, it has been much 
disputed whether the alphabetical arrangement, or that 
of common places be the better. Our author has 
adopted the latter, and perhaps that method renders 
the reading of the volume throughout more pleasant 
and continuous ; but, for ready reference, we question 


much if it possesses any advantages over the alpha- 
betical order. A book of proverbs is not of the class 
to be read through, it is only to be dipped into sicut 
canis ad Nilum bibens et fugiens. 

In addition to a copious vocabulary, which will be 
found of use by those not familiar with the vernacular 
dialect of Scotland, Mr. Henderson has illustrated 
his volume with a few characteristic etchings. How 
far he has succeeded is left for the public to judge. 
We who know but little of art, can, however, see that 
it is of no easy performance the task which he has 
accomplished, and it would have been one of the last 
we would have undertaken. 

" Things of greatest profit are set forth at least price," 
so says an apothegm given in a preceding page, and which 
we nmv cite as justly applicable to the volume which 
Mr. Henderson submits to the public. In the candour 
of friendship, we have expressed our own notions of 
its merits and demerits, but as we set out with a de- 
claration of diffidence as to our judicial qualifications, 
we can insist but lightly on the value of our cursory 
criticism, and we leave every one unshackled to form 
his own opinion. Speaking for ourself, however, we 
may say, that, imbued as we are with a spirit of na- 
tionality, we shall ever rejoice to see additions made 
to the stock of our native literature, and this volume 


being no inconsiderable one, and being, moreover, upon 
a highly interesting subject, it is doubly valuable in 
our eyes, as we trust it shall prove in the eyes of those 
who, whatever their theoretic cosmopolitanism may be, 
still in their hearts acknowledge that Hame is hame, 
be it neer sae hamely. 

Hurried for time, and limited in space, the fore- 
going observations have been thrown together under 
many disadvantages, as an introduction to a friend's 
book, in whose literary labours we, from early and long 
continued acquaintanceship, cannot fail to take a deep 
interest. That they form not a more befitting portico 
to his edifice we may regret, but cannot now remedy. 
Anxiety, however, on the score of the inadequate 
manner in which we have discharged a friendly duty 
imposed upon us, is materially diminished when we 
reflect that all honest Scots will, like ourself, feel 
grateful to the author for giving us so large a compila- 
tion of our national sayings. A book of the sort was 
wanted, and the want has been well supplied. In 
welcoming it, then, we are sure there is not one will, in 
the words of frosty-pated January, say to the indus- 
trious collector, 

" Straw for Senek, and straw for thy proverbes ! " 
or imitate that pretty morsel of frail womankind, the 

Ixxxviii PREFACE. 

Wife of Bath, who, when her mate " Joly Clerk 
Jankin," dinned into her ear this wholesome matri- 
monial caveat 

Whoso that buildeth his house all of swallowes, 
And pricketh his blind horse over the fallowes, 
And suffereth his wife to go seken hallowes, 
Is worthy to be hanged on the gallowes. 

was wont to boast that she 

sette not an hawe 
Of his proverbes, ne of his old sawe. 

Such a reception is out of the question. On the 
contrary, we believe the candid reader will receive the 
volume in the same spirit as that which animated the 
Son of Sirach when he gave utterance to this advice 



GLASGOW, 30th April, 1832. 



An auld man 's a bedfu' o' banes. 

Auld men are twice bairns. 

Auld age and marriage bring a man to his night-cap. 

Eild and pourtith are ill companions. 

Eild and pourtith are ill to thole. 

Haud your feet, Lucky Dad, auld fouk 's no fiery. 

He 's auld and cauld, and ill to lie aside. 

There 's beild beneath an auld man's beard. 

Eild and pourtith are a sair burden for ae back. 


Anger begins wi' folly, and ends wi' repentance. 

Anger is the fever and frenzy of the soul. 

Anger 's short lived in a gude man. 

Anger maks a rich man hated, and a poor man scorned. 

Anger may glance into the breast o' a wise man, but 

only rests i' the bosom o' a fool. 
Anger canna stand without a strong hand. 


Anger 's mair hurtfu than the wrang that caused it. 

Anger punishes itsel'. 

A hasty man is never lusty. 

A hasty man never wanted wae. 

He should be sindle angry that hae few to mease him. 

He that 's angry opens his mouth and steeks his een. 

He that will be angry for ony thing, will be angry for 


He 's ne'er at ease that 's angry. 
Rage is without reason. 
Twa things ne'er be angry wi', what ye can help, and 

what ye canna help. 


Avarice generally miscalculates, and as generally de- 

He wad rake hell for a bodle. 
He wad gang a mile to flit a sow. 
He wad fley a louse for its skin. 
Ne'er let your gear o'ergang you. 
Mony ane for land, taks a fool by the hand. 



Bairns are certain care but nae sma' joy. 

Bairns maun creep ere they gang. 

Bairns speak in the field what they hear by the fireside. 

Between three and thirteen, thraw the woodie when 

it 's green. 

Early crook the tree that gude crummock wad be. 
Falkirk bairns mind naething but mischief. 


Falkirk bairns die ere they thrive. 

Gie a bairn his will and a whelp its fill, and neither 

will do weel. 

Dawted bairns dow bear little. 
Fair in the cradle may be foul in the saddle. 
He 's a wise bairn that kens his ain father. 
Ill bairns are best heard at hame. 
Ill bairns are aye getting broken brows. 
Mony ane kisses the bairn for love o' the nurse. 
Of bairns' gifts ne'er be fain : nae sooner they gie than 

they seek it again. 
Put anither man's bairn in your bosom, and he'll creep 

out at your sleeve. 
Silly bairns are eith o' lear. 
When bairns are young they gar their parents' heads 

ache ; when they are auld they mak their hearts ache. 
We can shape our bairns' wyliecoat, but canna shape 

their weird. 


A bonnie bride 's soon buskit. 

A bonnie face needs nae band, an ill ane deserves nane. 

A fair face and a foul bargain. 

A fair face is half a fortune. 

Beauty draws mair than oxen. 

Beauty but bountith availeth nothing. 

Beauty 's a fair but a fading flower. 

Beauty 's muck when honour 's tint. 

Beauty without virtue 's like poison in a gowd box. 

Beauty 's only skin deep. 


Fair maidens wear nae purses. 

There 's beauty without paint, quo' the deil, when he 
saw the black man. 


Beggars downa bide wealth. 

Beggars shouldna be choosers. 

Beg frae beggars, ye '11 ne'er be rich. 

Gie a beggar a bed, and he '11 pay you wi' a louse. 

He that seeks awms for Godsake, begs for twa. 

Set a beggar on horseback, and he '11 ride to the deil. 


A blind man has nae need o* a looking-glass. 
A blind man's wife needs nae painting. 
A blind man 's nae judge o' colours. 
A nod 's as gude as a wink to a blind horse. 
The blind mare is first in the mire. 
He 's blind that eats marrow, but far blinder that lets 


A vaunter and a Her are muckle about ae thing. 

A man may spit in his loof and do but little. 

A' the corn 's no shorn by kempers. 

Cripples are aye great doers ; break your leg and try. 

Mak nae toom ruse. 


Birth 's gude, but breeding 's better. 


A weel bred dog gaes out when he sees them prepar- 
ing to kick him out. 
Dogs bark as they are bred. 
Gude breeding and siller mak our sons gentlemen. 


Butter is the king o' a' creesh. 

Butter and burn trouts are kittle meat for maidens. 

Butter to butter 's nae kitchen. 

Fry stanes wi' butter and the broe will be gude. 

He that has routh o' butter may lay it the thicker on 

his bread. 
Like Orkney butter, neither gude to eat nor to creesh 

Butter is gowd i' the morning, siller at noon, and 

copper at night. 


A pund o* care winna pay an ounce o' debt. 
Care will kill a cat, and she has nine lives. 
Little gear, less care. 


A rowing stane gathers nae fog. 
A green Yule maks a fat kirk-yard. 
A few flittings are as bad as ae burning. 
As the sow fills the draff sours. 
A crooked stick will throw a crooked shadow. 
A gude hairst maks men prodigal, and a bad ane pro- 


A light heeled mither maks a leaden heeled dochter. 

A slow fire maks sweet maut. 

He that gets gear before he gets wit, is but a short 

time master o' it. 

I ken by my cog when my cow 's milket. 
Muckle reek some heat. 

Nae whup cuts sae sharp as the lash o' conscience. 
Saw thin, maw thin. 

There's aye some water where the stirkie was drowned. 
There 's nae reek, but there ? s some heat. 
They that work i' the mill maun wear the livery. 
When the well 's fou it will rin ower. 
When you see a woman paint, your heart needna faint. 
Yelping curs will raise mastiffs. 


Better greet ower your gudes than after your gudes. 

Canny stretch, soon reach. 

Cawk is nae shears. 

Haud the hank in your ain hand. 

He needs a lang shanket spoon that sups kail wi' the deil. 

He that has but ae ee, maun tent it weel. 

If you dinna see the bottom, dinna wade. 

It 's no safe wading in unco waters. 

Leave the court ere the court leave you. 

Measure twice, cut but ance. 

Ne'er put a sword in a wud man's hand. 

Ne'er misca' a Gordon in the raws o' Strathbogie. 

Ne'er say ill fallow to him you deal wi'. 

Ne'er trust muckle to an auld enemy, nor a new friend. 


Ne'er put your hand farer out than your sleeve will 


Silence and thoughts hurt nae man. 
Tell not your fae when your foot sleeps. 
Tak care o' an ox before, an ass behind, and a monk 

on all sides. 


Giving to the poor increaseth a man's store. 
Charity begins at haine. 

Spend, and God will send ; spare, and be bare. 
Charity begins at hame, but shouldna end there. 
Charity ne'er made a man poor, nor robbery rich, nor 
prosperity wise. 


A clean thing 's kindly, quo' the wife, when she turned 

her sark, after a month's wear. 
Cleanliness is nae pride, dirt 's nae honesty. 
Let ilka ane soop before their ain door. 


Little odds between a feast and a fou wame. 
Like draws to like, as an auld horse to a fail dyke. 
Blue, and better blue. 

Muckle about ane, as the deil said to the collier. 
Much about a pitch, quo' the deil to the witch. 


A man's weel or wae, as he thinks himsel sae. 


A man's greatest wealth is contentment wi' little. 

Ane at a time is gude fishing. 

Let ilka ane be content wi' his ain kavel. 

Hap and a ha'penny, is world's gear aneugh. 

O' a little tak a little ; when there 's nought, tak a'. 

O' a little tak a little, and leave a little behin. 

We maun tak the crap as it grows. 

Contentment is a constant feast. 


A courageous foe is better than a cowardly friend. 

A faint heart never won a fair lady. 

A wight man never wanted a weapon. 

Courage against misfortune, and reason against passion. 

Fortune favours the brave. 

Fortune helps the hardy, and the poltroon aye repels. 

Naething sae crouse as a new washen louse. 

Naething sae bauld as a blind mare. 

The cock 's aye crouse on his ain midden head. 

A man's aye crouse in his ain cause. 


A flyer wad aye hae a follower. 

Glowerin is nae gainsaying. 

Happy is the wooing that 's no lang o' doing. 

He courts for cake and pudding. 

He that woos a maiden maun come seldom in her sight; 

He that woos a widow maun ply her day and night. 

Light maidens mak langing lads. 

Nipping and scarting is Scotch folks' wooing. 


Sunday's wooing draws to ruin. 

The lass that has mony wooers aften wails the warst. 

Wha may woo without cost ? 

When petticoats woo, breeks may come speed. - 


A covetous man does naething that he should do, till 

he dies. 

A covetous man is gude to nane, but warst to himsel. 
A covetous man lives in dread, and dies wretched. 
A covetous man's like a turnspit dog roasts meat 

for ithers. 

Covetousness often starves other vices. 
Covetousness brings naething hame. 


A coward 's nae company. 

A coward's fear maks a coward brave. 

A wee thing fleys a coward. 1 1 

He 's mair fleyed than hurt. 

His heart 's in his hose. 

Put a coward to his mettle, and he '11 fight wi' the deil. 

To fazarts (cowards) hard hazards is death ere they 

come near. 
A man may spit in his nieve and do but little. 


Credit is better than ill won gear. 
Credit keeps the crown o' the causey. 
Credit lost is like a broken glass. 

10 DEATH. 

He wha 's lost his credit is dead to the warld. 

Them that hae maist need o' credit seldom get muckle. 


He can baud the cat and play wi' the kitlen. 

He can say, My jo, and think it no. 

He can haud the cat in the sun. 

He kens how mony beans mak five. 

He kens how to butter a whitten. 

He kens which side his cake 's buttered on. 

He 's no sae daft as he lets on. 

He snoits his nose in his neighbour's cog, to get the 

brose himsel. 
His e'ening sang and his morning sang are no baith 


The peasweep aye cries farest frae its ain nest. 
They that see your head see not a' your height. 
You wad wheedle a laverock frae the lift. 
A' are no friends that speak us fair. 
A crafty man 's ne'er at peace. 
Craft maun hae claes, but truth gaes naked. 


A dry cough is the trumpeter o' death. 
Death defies the doctor. 
Death and marriage break term days. 
Death comes in and speirs nae questions. 
Death is deaf, and will hear nae denial. 
He wha 's poor when he 's married, shall be rich when 
he 's buried. 


The death o' ae bairn winna skall a house. 
There's remede for a' thing, but stark dead. 


Better auld debts than auld sairs. 

A pound o' care winna pay an ounce o' debt. 

He wha pays his debt begins to mak a stock. 

Out o' debt, out o' danger. 

Sins and debts are aye mair than we think them. 

The less debt the mae dainties. 

A poor man's debt maks muckle noise. 


Delays are dangerous. 

Delay not till to-morrow what may be done to-day. 
There's naething got by delay, but dirt and lang 


A man may woo wha he will, but must wed whare 

he 's weird. 
Flee as fast as you will, your fortune will be at your 


Hanging gaes by hap. 

He that 's born to be hang'd will never be drown'd. 
The water will ne'er waur the woodie. 
It was my luck, my lady, and I canna get by it. 
Some hae hap, and some stick in the gap. 
Nae fleeing frae fate. 
Nae butter will stick to my bread. 



I like him as the deil likes holy water. 

If that God give, the deil daurna reave. 

It's curly and crooket, as the deil said o' his horns. 

Speak o' the deil and he '11 appear. 

Speak o' ony body but the deil and he '11 appear. 

The deil 's a busy bishop in his ain diocese. 

The deil and the dean begin wi' ae letter : 

When the deil gets the dean, the kirk will be the 


The deil 's nae waur than he 's ca'd. 
The deil's cow calves twice a-year. 
The deil 's aye gude to his ain. 
The deil's bairns hae aye their dady's luck. 
The deil aye drives his hogs to an ill market. 
The deil 's gane ower Jock Wabster. 
They need a lang shanket spoon, that sup kail wi' the 


The deil bides his day. 

The devil was sick, and the devil a monk would be : 
The devil got well, and the devil a monk was he. 
The deil gaes awa when he finds the door steeket 

against him. 
To craw and to scrape weel is the deil's trade. 

When the man is fire, and the wife is tow ; 

The deil comes in and blaws 't in lowe. 


A blate cat maks a proud mouse. 
Diffidence is the mother o' safety. 

DRESS. 13 

He that spares to speak, spares to speed. 
Mony an honest man needs help, that hasna the face 
to seek it. 


He that deals in dirt has aye foul fingers. 
Cleanliness is nae pride, dirt is nae honesty. 
Kamesters are aye creeshie. 
Lang straes are nae mots, quo' the wife, when she 

hauled the cat out o' the kirn. 
He' s a dirty tod that fyles his ain hole. 
The tod, though stinking, keeps aye his ain hole 


The clartier the cosier. 
The fish that' s bred in a dirty puddle will aye taste o' 


The mair dirt, the less hurt. 
There' s a mot in 't, quo' the man, when he swallowed 

the dish-clout. 

Though she' s dirty, she' s dry, like the man's wife. 
Dirt bodes luck. 
Standing dubs gather dirt. 
Dirt defies the king. 
Ye may wash aff dirt, but never dun hide. 


Bonnie feathers mak bonnie birds. 
Gude claes open a' doors. 

You're as braw as Binks' wife, when she becket to 
the minister, wi' the dish-clout on her head. 



A red nose maks a ragged back. 

Drunk at night and dry next morning. 

Drunk folk seldom take harm. 

Double drinks are gude for drouth. 

Drink and drouth come sindle thegither. 

Drink little, that ye may drink lang. 

Fair fa' gude drink, for it gars folk speak as they 

He has a hole aneath his nose, that winna let his back 

be rough. 

Draff he sought, but drink was his errand. 
He speaks in his drink what he thinks in his drouth. 
Laith to drink, and laith frae it. 
Ne'er let the nose blush for the sins o' the mouth. 
The smith has aye a spark in his throat. 
Tak a hair o' the dog that bit you yestreen. 
The maut's aboon the meal. 
What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals. 
When drink 's in, wit 's out. 
When wine sinks, words soora. 
What you do when you 're drunk, you must pay when 

you 're sober. 
Wha can help sickness quo' the wife, when she lay 

drunk in the gutter. 
Ye hae been smelling the bung. 
He 's waur to water than to com. 
Our fathers, who were wondrous wise, 
Did wash their throats before they wash' d their 




The accommodation bill trade, 

Connected wi' the gill trade, 

Aye turns out an ill trade. W. Reid. 


Early birds catch the worms. 

Gang to bed wi' the lamb, and rise wi' the laverock. 

He that wad thrive, must rise by five ; 

He that has thriven, may lie till seven. 
They wha are early up and hae nae business, hae either 

an ill bed, an ill wife, or an ill conscience. 
They maun be soon up that cheats the tod. 
They that rise wi' the sun, hae their wark weel begun. 


Eat in measure, and defy the doctor. 

Eeat-weel 's drink-weel's brither. 

Eating needs but a beginning. 

Eating and drinking puts awa the stamach. 

Eating and cleaning only require a beginning. 

Eat peas wi' a prince, and cherries wi' a chapman. 

Eat your fill, but pouch nane. 

There 's a difference between fou and fare weel. 

Live not to eat, but eat to live. 


A penny hain'd 's a penny gained. 
A penny hain'd 's a penny clear, and a preen a-day's 

a groat a-year. 
Better hain weel than work sair. 

16 ENVY. 

Better lang little, than soon naething. 

E'ening orts are gude morning's father. 

Frae saving comes having. 

Haud in gear helps weel. 

He that bains his dinner, will hae the mair to his supper. 

It's easier to bigg twa chimlies, than keep twa in coals. 

It's weel won that's won aff the wame. 

If he binds the pock, she'll sit down on 't. 

Kail hairis bread. 

Ken when to spend, and when to spare, and when to 

buy, and you '11 ne'er be bare. 
Lay a thing by, and it will come o' use. 
Keep a thing seven years, and you '11 find a use for it. 
Lay your wame to your winning. 
Lang fasting hains nae bread. 
Mak nae orts o' gude hay. 
Placks and bawbees grow pounds. 
Spare weel and hae weel. 
Spend not when you may save: save not when you may 


Want not, waste not. 

Wha winna keep a penny will never hae any. 
Wide will wear, but tight will tear. 


Envy is the rack of the soul, and torture of the body. 
Envy is cured by true friendship, as coquetry is by 

true love. 
Envy ne'er does a gude turn, but when it means an ill 




Of ae ill comes mony. 

Of ill debtors men get aiths. 

Of twa ills choose the least. 


Keep out o' his company, wha cracks o' his cheatry. 

Ill council will gar a man stick his ain mare. 

Tell me the company you keep, and I '11 tell you your 


Wae worth ill company, quo' the kae o' Camb'snethan. 
Gude company on a journey is worth a coach. 
He keeps his road weel aneugh, wha gets rid o' ill 



A libertine life is not a life of liberty. 
He that ill does, never gude weens. 

He wha mair than he 's worth doth spend, 

Perhaps a rape his life will end. 
Never do ill, that gude may come o't. 
Your conduct will gar you claw a beggar's haffet yet. 

When I did weel I heard it never, 

When I did ill I heard it ever. 
There 's naething but mends for misdeeds. 
Do weel, and hae weel. 

He that hath and winna keep it ; 

He that wants and winna seek it ; 

He that drinks and is not dry ; 

Siller shall want, as weel as I. 




He that strikes my dog, wad strike mysel if he durst. 

He that does you an ill turn will ne'er forgie you. 

If a man 's gaun doun the brae, ilka ane gies him a 

An ill-willie cow should hae short horns. 

Buy a thief frae the widdie, and he'll cut your throat. 

Ill doers are aye ill dreaders. 

Like the cur in the crib, neither do nor let do. 

Keep out o' his company wha cracks o' his cheatry. 

Ye 're like the witches, ye can do nae good to yoursel. 

The toolyeing tyke comes limping hame. 

The tod's whalps are ill to tame. 

Say what you will, an ill mind will turn it to ill. 

He that's cankered without a cause, maun mease with- 
out amends. 


If you gang a year wi' a cripple, you '11 limp at the 

end o't. 

If the laird slight the lady, sae will the kitchen boy. 
If ae sheep loup ower the dyke, a' the lave will follow. 
If the mare hae a bald face, the filly will hae a blaze. 


He that speaks what he should not, will hae what he 

would not. 

A gossip speaks ill o' a', and a' o' her. 
Ill never speaks weel. 
Sometimes words cut mair than swords. 


It's a gude tongue that says nae ill, but a better heart 

that thinks nane. 

Gie your tongue mair holidays than your head. 
Your tongue is nae scandal. 
He that has gall in his mouth canna spit honey. 
Ne'er speak ill o' the dead. 
Ne'er speak ill o' them whase bread ye eat. 


I wish you the gude o't that the dogs get o' grass. 
I wish it may come through you like tags o' skate. 
I wish you were able, though you didna do 't. 
We mamma wish the burn dry because it weete our feet. 


As the auld cock craws, the young cock learns. 
Every act is best taught by example. 
Example goes before precept. 


An auld mason maks a gude barrowman. 

Auld dogs bite sicker. 

Burnt bairns dread the fire. 

Experience is the mither o' invention. 

Experience teaches fools, and fools will learn nae ither 


Experience is the mither of tool-grinding. 
If things were to be done twice, ilka ane wad be wise. 
A man at forty is either a fool or a physician. 
Experience is gude, but aften dear bought. 

20 FEAR. 


A' owers are ill, but ower the water and ower the 


Ower muckle o' ae thing is gude for naething. 
Ower mony greives only hinder wark. 
Ower muckle daffin downa. 
Mair than aneugh is ower muckle. 
Langest at the fireside soonest finds cauld. 
Like the dam o' Devon, lang gathered and soon gane. 
Waes unite faes. 
Ye 're either ower het or ower cauld, like the miller o' 

. Marshach Mill. 
Ye 're either a' dirt or a' butter. 
Ye 're ower keen o' the clocking, ye'll die on the 



Fause folk should hae mony witnesses. 

Fairest words are fouest o' falsehood. 

Frost and falsehood hae aye a dirty wa-gang. 


Common fame is seldom to blame. 
Common fame is often a common liar. 
The thing that a'body says maun be true. 


He 's mair fleyed than hurt. 

There 's nae medicine for fear. 

You 're feared for the day you never saw. 

FOLLY. 21 


A flatterer is a dangerous enemy. 
When flatterers meet, the deil gaes to his dinner. 
Of a' flatterers, self-love is the greatest. 
Plaster thick and some will stick. 


A fool and his money are soon parted. 

A fool at forty will never be wise. 

A fool may speir mae questions than a doctor can 


A fool may gie a wise man an advice. 
A fool may earn money, but it taks a wise man to 

keep it. 
A fool is mair happy in thinking weel o' himsel, than 

a wise man is of ithers thinking weel o' him. 
A fool may find faults that a wise man canna mend. 
A nod frae a lord is a breakfast for a fool. 
A fool's bolt is soon shot. 
A' fails that fools think. 
A man at five may be a fool at fifteen. 
A man may speak like a wise man, and act like a fool. 
A rogue detected is the greatest fool. 
As the fool thinks, the bell clinks. 
Aye to eild, but never to wit. 
Ance wud, and aye waur. 
A nee wud, never wise. 
Change o' weather finds discourse for fools. 
Degs and bairns are aye fond o' fools. 
Forbid a fool a thing, and that he will do. 

22 FOLLY. 

Fair hechts mak fools fain. 
Fool's haste is nae speed. 
Fools shouldna hae chappin sticks. 
Fools are aye fortunate. 
Fools are aye fond o' flittin. 
Fools ravel, and wise men redd. 
Fools set far trysts. 

Fools and bairns shouldna see half done wark. 
Fools mak feasts, and wise men eat them ; 
Wise men mak jests, and fools repeat them. 
Fools are fain o' naething. 
Fools big houses, and wise men buy them. 
Fools are aye seeing ferlies. 
For fault o' wise men fools sit on binks. 
Fools laugh at their ain sport. 
He 's no the fool that the fool is, but he that wi' the 

fool deals. 

He that taks his gear and gies it to his bairns, 
Were weel saired to tak a mell and ding out his 


He has some sma' wit, but a fool has the guiding o 't. 
He that clatters till himsel cracks to a fool. 
" I'll wad," is a fool's argument. 
It 's folly tq, live poor and die rich. 
Nae fools like auld fools. 
Twa fools in ae house is a couple ower mony. 
When the fool finds a horse shoe, he thinks aye the 

like to do. 
He 's a fool that asks ower muckle, but he's a greater 

fool that gies it. 


Send a fool to France, and he '11 come a fool back. 
The height o' nonsense, is supping sour milk wi' an 


A steek in time saves nine. 

Canny chiels carry cloaks when its fair, 
The fool, when its foul, has nane to wear. 
Gude foresight furthers the wark. 
He that does his turn in time sits half idle. 
If a man kent what wad be dear, 
He wadna be a merchant for a year. 
You 're very foresighted, like Forsyth's cat. 


A lucky man needs little counsel. 

Better be the lucky man than the lucky man's son. 

Twa heads may lie on ae cod, and nane ken whare 

the luck lies. 

The lucky thing gies the gude penny. 
Mair by luck than gude guiding. 
There 's nae fence against ill fortune. 
Fortune aften lends her smiles as misers do their 

money to undo their debtor. ^> 

Fortune gains the bride. ' 

Put your hand in the creel, tak out an adder or an eel. 
An inch o' gude luck is worth a fathom o' forecast. 
Flee you ne'er sae fast, your fortune will be at your 

Gie a man luck, and fling him in the sea. 


Fortune and futurity are not to be guessed at. 
Fortune can take nothing but what she gave. 


A friend in need is a Mend indeed. 
A friend in the court, is worth a penny in the purse. 
A friend's dinner is soon dicht. 
A friend 's ne'er kenn'd till he 's needed. 
A friend to a', is a friend to nane. 
A gude friend is ne'er tint, but an ill ane 's at hand. 
A gude friend is my nearest relation. 
Ae gude friend is worth a' my relations. 
A man may be kind, yet gie little o' his gear. 
A man may see his friend in need, 
That woudna see his pow bleed. 
A father is a treasure, a brither is a comfort, but a 

friend is baith. 

A faithful friend is a strong defence. 
A faithful friend is the medicine of life. 
Affront your friend in daffin, and tine him in earnest. 
Be slow in choosing a friend, but slower in changing 


Better my friends think me fremit as fashious. 
Better lose your joke, than lose your friend. 
Better spoil your joke, than tine your friend. 
Better a fremit friend, than a friend fremit. 
Broken friendship may be sowther'd, but never 

Buy friendship wi' presents and it will be bought frae 



: Change your friend ere you hae need. 
Choose your friend amang the wise, and your wife 

amang the virtuous. 

Pause friends are waur than bitter enemies. 
Friends are like fiddle-strings, they mamma be screw'd 

ower tight. 

Friendship multiplies our joy, and divides our grief. 
Friends gree best at a distance. 
Friendship is stronger than kindred. 
He that's no my friend at a pinch, is no worth a 


Hearts may agree, though heads differ. 
It 's no tint that a friend gets. 
Life without a friend is death with a witness. 
Mony kinsfolk, but few friends. 
Mony aunts, mony ernes, mony kin, but few friends. 
My son is my son until he gets a wife, 
My dochter is my dochter a' the days o' her life. 
Nae man can be happy without a friend, nor be sure 

of him until he 's unhappy. 
Nae friend like the penny. 

Quhen welth aboundis, mony friends we number : 
Quhen guidis dekay, then friends flie away. 
Suffering for a friend, doubleth friendship. 
Try your friend before you hae need o' him. 
When friends meet, hearts warm. 

He that thy friend has bene ryt lange, 
Suppose sumtyme he do the wrange ; 
Condeme him not, hot aye him meine, 
For kindness that before has been. 

26 GOD. 

" As hatred is the serpent's noisome rod, 

So friendship is the living gift of God : 

The drunken friend, is friendship's very evil ; 

The frantic friend, is friendship for the devil ; 

The quiet friend, all one in word and deed, 

Great comfort is, like ready gold, in need. 

Hast thou a friend the heart may wish at will ? 

Then use him so, to have his friendship still. 

Would'st have a friend? would'st know what friend 

is best ? 
Have God thy friend, who passeth all the rest ! " 

T. Tusser. 


God shapes the back for the burden. 

God sends us claith according to our cauld. 

God ne'er sent the mouths without the meat. 

God does not measure men by inches. 

God tempers the wind to the new shorn lamb. 

God's help is nearer than the fair e'en. 

God is kind to fou folk and bairns. 

Forsake not God, till you find a better master. 

Gie God the first and the last of every day. 

Gie your heart to God, and your awms to the poor. 

God trusts every ane with the care of his own soul. 

In every work begin and end wi' God. 

God sends water to the well, that folk thinks will ne'er 

be dry. 

God 's kind to fools and drunken folk. 
God puts his best jewel in his finest cabinet. 
God sends fools fortunes. 



A gude cause maks a stout heart and a strong arm. 

A gude life is the only religion. 

A gude conscience is the best divinity. 

A gude example is the best sermon. 

A gude life maks a happy death. 

A gude fame is better than a gude face. 

A gude paymaster never wants hands to work. 

A gude name is better than a fou house. 

That is my gude that does me gude. 


Adversity overcome is the greatest glory. 

Do weel and doubt nae man, do ill ane doubt a' men. 

Do weel and dread nae shame. 

Do on the hill as ye would do in the ha'. 

Do what you ought and let come what will. 

Do the likeliest and hope the best. 

Do your turn weel, and iiane will speir how lang you 


First deserve, and then desire. 
Handsome is, who handsome does. 
Keep gude company, and ye '11 be counted ane o' them. 
Send your son to Ayr : if he did weel here he'll do 

weel there. 

Tell the truth and shame the deil. 
Warks bear witness wha weel does. 
Weel is that weel does. 
There is more glory in forgiving an injury, than there 

is pleasure in revenging it. 

28 GIFT. 


Gude advice is ne'er out o' season. 
Gude counsel is aboon a' price. 


Gentry sent to the market winna buy a peck o' meal. 
A gentleman should hae mair in his pouch than on his 


A gentleman without an estate, is like a pudding with- 
out suet. 

Gentility without ability is waur than plain beggary. 
Gentle puddocks hae lang taes. 

He is the best gentleman, wha is the sun o' his ain merit. 
The first thing a bare gentleman asks in the morning 
is a needle and a tliread. 

When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Where was then the gentleman : 
Upstarted a carl and gathered glide, 
And thence came a' our gentle bluid. 


A' gifts are no graces. 

A gien horse shoudna be looked i' the mouth. 

A gift wi' a kind look is a double present. 

He doubles his gift that gies 't in time. 

Naething is freer than a gift. 

The wife 's aye welcome that comes wi' a crooket oxter. 

They that come wi' a gift, doesna need to stand lang 

at the door. 
They that gie you, hinder you to buy. 

GREED. 29 

They 're aye gude that gies. 
They 're aye welcome that brings. 
Muckle gifts mak beggars bauld. 


A cram'd kyte maks a crazy carcase. 

A man may dig his grave wi' his teeth. 

Mutton is sweet, and gars mony die ere they be sick. 

Muckle meat mony maladies. 

Surfeits slay mair than swords. 

Wha dainties love will poor prove. 

Your belly winna let your back be rough. 

Suppers kill mair than the doctors cure. 


Ae gude turn deserves anither. 

A borrowed lend should gae laughing hame. 

Gratitude is a heavy burden. 

Gudewill should aye be taen in part o' payment. 

Gudewill ne'er wants time to show itsel. 

He that gies to a gratefu man, puts out to interest. 

Tak the will for the deed. 

Gratitude preserves auld friendships and begets new. 


A greedy ee ne'er gat a gude pennyworth. 

A greedy ee ne'er gat a fou wame. 

A greedy guts ne'er got a gude meltith. 

Ae beggar is wae that anither by the gate gae. 

A' is nae part. 

30 GREED. 

A' is fish that comes in the net. 

Greedy fouk hae lang arms. 

He can hide his meat and seek mair. 

He that has muckle would aye hae mair. 

He looks as he would swallow it. 

He woudna lend his gully, no ! to the deil to stick 


He 's like a bagpipe, he 's ne'er heard till his bag 's fou. 
He '11 hae aneugh some day, when his mouth's fou o' 


Little wats the ill-willie wife what a meal may baud in. 
Mony ane tines the half-merk whinger for the ha'penny 


Some tak a', but ye leave naething. 
The greedy man and the gileynour are soon agreed. 
The deil 's greedy, but you 're mislear'd. 
The miller aye taks the best mouter wi' his ain hands. 
Gie the greedy dog a muckle bane. 
He'll gie his bane to nae dog. 
He'll no gie the head for the washing. 
He'll gang to hell for house profit. 
The kirk 's aye greedy. 
Ye hae a crap for a' corn. 
Ye ne'er see green cheese but your een reels. 
Ye ne'er see green cheese but your teeth waters. 
Ye wad marry a midden for the muck. 
Ye are ane o' the house o' Harl-t'-them. 
Ye '11 break your neck as soon as your fast, in his 

What your ee seeth your heart greeneth. 

HASTE. 31 


Auld sparrows are ill to tame. 
Ae year a nurse, and seven years a daw. 
Ca' a cow to the ha', and she'll rin to the byre. 
Eith learning the cat to the kirn. 
Gie you a use and ye '11 ca't a custom. 
He's an auld horse that winna nicher when he sees corn. 
Learn the cat to the kirn, and she'll aye be licking. 
An ill custom is like a gude cake better broken than 


A wee housie weel filled ; a wee piece land weel tilled ; 

a wee wifie weel willed, will mak a happy man. 
A blythe heart maks a blooming look. 
He 's no the happiest man that has the maist gear. 
Every inch of joy has an ell of annoy. 
It 's no what we hae, but what we do wi' what we hae, 

that maks us happy or miserable. 


Bargains made in a hurry are aften repented o'at leisure. 

Haste maks waste. 

Haste and anger hinder gude counsel. 

Hasty was hanged, but Speed-o'-foot wan awa. 

He wha rides before he is ready, aye wants some o' 

his gear. 
The mair haste the less speed as the tailor said, wi' 

his lang thread. 
There 's a het hurry when there 's a hen to roast, p 

32 HOME. 

Quick, for you '11 ne'er be cleanly. 
Haste maks waste, and waste maks want, and want 
maks strife between the gudeman and gudewife. 


After dinner sit a while ; after supper walk a mile. 
Ae hour's cauld will sook out seven years' heat. 
A gude wife and health, is a man's best wealth. 
Be lang sick, that ye may be soon weel. 
Better wait on the cook, than on the doctor. 
Better wear shoon than sheets. 
Broken bread maks hale bairns. 
Cast not a clout till May be out. 
Gude health is better than wealth. 
He wha eats but ae dish, seldom needs the doctor. 
Light suppers mak lang life. 
Raw dauds mak fat lads. 
Health is the best wealth. 
The town for wealth, the country for health. 
If you wish to be healthy, clothe warmly and eat 


Help is gude at a' thing, except at the cog. 
The laird may be laird and need his hind's help. 
The king's errand may come in the cadger's gate yet. 
God helps them that help themselves. 

e is hame, be 't ever sae hamely. 


East or west, hame is best. 

There 's nae place like hame, quo' the deil, when he 
fand himsel i' the Court o' Session. 


A thread will tie an honest man, better than a rape 

will do a rogue. 
Confess debt, and crave time. 
Confess'd faults are half mended. 
He that cheats in daffin, winna be honest in earnest. 
It '11 baud out an honest man, but naething '11 baud 

out a rogue. 
Honesty may be dear bought, but can ne'er be an ill 

Mony an honest man needs help that hasna the face 

to seek it. 
Naething is a man's truly, but what he cometh by 


Open confession is gude for the saul. 
O' a' crafts, to be an honest man is the master-craft. 
The nod o' an honest man is aneugh. 
Wrang count is nae payment. 


The post of honour is the post of danger. 
His life, but not his honour fail'd him. 
Honours change manners. 
Bourd not wi' my ee nor mine honour. 
There 's mair glory in using a victory moderately, than 
in gaining it mightilie. fp 



When the heart 's past hope, the face is past shame. 

He wha lives on hope will die fasting. 

He wha lives on hope has a slender diet. 

Hope weel, and hae weel. 

If it werena for hope, the heart would break. 

Nane are sae weel but they hope to be better 

Hope bauds up the head. 


A winter day, and a wintry way, is the life o' man. 

A reeky house and a scolding wife, 

Will lead a man a fashions life. 

Be thou weel, or be thou wae, you will not be aye sae. 
Life consists not in breathing, but in enjoying life. 
Misery brings a man acquainted wi' strange bed-fallows. 
Nae man can mak his ain hap. 
Nae man has a tack o' his life. 
There 's aye life for a living man. '*.' 

The langer we live, we see the mae ferlies. 
Trouble and adversity, mak greatness and prosperity 

far mair pleasant. 

When hope and hap, when health and wealth are highest, 
Then woe and wreck, disease and death are nighest. 
God's providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with 
peculiar enjoyments. 


A hungry wame has nae lugs. 
A Jiungry man is an angry man. 


A hungry man's meat is aye lang o' making ready. 

A hungry man has aye a lazy cook. 

A hungry man sees far. 

A hungry louse bites sair. 

Hunger is gude kitchen-meat. 

Hunger will break through stane wa's. 

Hungry dogs will eat dirty puddins. 

Hungry stewards wear mony shoon. 

Hunger me, and I '11 harry thee. 

Hunger never fails of a gude cook. 

Hungry dogs are blythe o' bursten puddins. 

Hard fare maks hungry bellies. 

He ne'er taks pleasure in his meat wha ne'er was 


His wame thinks his wizzen is cut. 
Sharp stamachs mak short graces. 
Scart the cog, would hae mair. 
The first dish is aye best eaten. 
Toom sta's tnak biting horses. 
Naething stops the memory when you 're hungry. 
Ye hae tint your ain stamach, and found the dog's. 
Ye was sae hungry, ye coudna stay for the grace. 
You 're ne'er pleased fou nor fasting. 
Hunger is hard in a hale maw. 


An idle brain is the deil's smiddy. 

Idle dogs worry sheep. 

Idle young, needy auld. 

If the deil finds an idle man he sets him to wark. 


He 's idle, that might be better employed. 
He that gapes till he be fed, will gape till he be dead. 
Naething is got without pains, but dirt and lang nails. 
By doing naething, we learn to do ill. 
There 's mair whistling wi' you, than red land. 
Tarry lang, brings little hame. 
An idle man is the deil's bolster. 
You 're like the lambs, ye do naething but suck and 
wag your tail. 


A begun turn 's half ended, quo' the wife, when she 

stuck the graip in the midden. 
Nae sweat, nae sweet. 
A foul hand maks a clean hearthstane. 
A gude beginning maks a gude ending. 
A gude day's darg, may be done wi' a dirty spade. 
A gaun fit is aye getting, were it but a thorn. 
A working hand is worth a gowpen o' gowd. 
Ae hour in the morning, is worth twa at night. 
Aye wark and nay ploy, maks Jock a dull boy. 
Gathering gear is a pleasant pain. 
Get your rock and your spindle, and God will send 

you tow. 

Gude forecast furthers the wark. 
Eident youth maks easy age. 
If you want your business weel done, do 't yoursel. 
Naething is sae difficult, but may be overcome wi' 

Naetbing is got without pains but an ill name. 



Nae gains without pains. 

The fit on the cradle, the hand on the reel, 
Is the sign o' a woman that means to do weel. 

Work legs and win legs, bain legs and tine legs. 

Perseverance performs greater works than strength. 

Plough deep while sluggards sleep. 

Frugality is a fair fortune, and industry a good estate. 

They maun hunger in frost that winna work in heat. 

Industry maks a braw man, and breaks ill fortune. 


Ingratitude comprehends every vice. 
Ingratitude is waur than the sin o' witchcraft. 
Buy a thief frae the widdie, and he '11 cut your throat. 
Do a man a gude turn, and he '11 ne'er forgie you. 


As ye do yoursel, ye judge o' your neighbour. 

He that keeks through a key-hole, may see what will 

vex him. 
If the auld wife hadua been in the oven hersel, she ne'er 

wad hae thought o' looking for her dochter there. 
There 's aye ill will amang cadgers. 
Twa o' ae trade seldom agree. 

Twa cats and ae mouse twa mice in ae house 

Twa dogs and ae bane ne'er will agree in ane. 


Bitter jests poison friendship. 

Better tine your joke, than tine your friend. 


Leave a jest, when it pleases you best. 
Mony a true tale tauld in jest. 
A sooth bourd is nae bourd. 

He that maks folk afraid o' his wit, should be afraid 
o' their memories. 


A gude cause makes a strong arm. 

Let the muckle horse get the muckle wonlyne. 

Live and let live. 

Do as ye wad be done to. 

Gie the deil his due. 

The sin is no in taking a gude price, but in gieing ill 

When ilka ane gets his ain, the thief will get the widdie. 


A kindly word cools anger. 
A man may be kind, and gie little o' his gear. 
Kindness begets kindness. 
Kindness comes o' will, but canna be coft. 
Kindness owercomes a' dislike. 
Kindness will creep whare it canna gang. 
Kindness canna aye lie on ae side o' the house. 
Hae, lad rin, lad ; that maks a willing lad. 
Hae gars a deaf man hear. 
If I 'm no kind, I 'm no cumbersome. 
That 's a piece a stepmither ne'er gied. 
What you gie shines still, what you eat smells ill next 


Favours unused, are favours abused. 

Kindness is like cress-seed increases by sawing. 


Kings hae lang lugs. 

Kings' caff is worth ither folks' corn. 

Kings and bears aft worry their keepers. 

Kings' cheese gangs half awa in pairings. 

The king may come to Kelly yet, and when he comes 

he '11 ride. 

The king's errand may come in the cadger's gate. 
The king's best guard, is his subjects' love. 


Kissing gangs by favour. 

Kiss and be kind, the fiddler is blind. 

Kiss a sclate stane, and that winna slaver you. 

Kiss a carl and clap a carl, and that 's the way to tine 

a carl. 

Mony ane kisses the bairn for love o' the nurse. 
They should kiss the gudewife, that would win the 

Kissing is cried down since the shaking o' hands. 


Laugh at leisure, ye may greet ere e'en. 

Laugh and lay it down again. 

They that laugh in the morning will greet ere e'en. 

They showed their back teeth laughing. 

As lang lives the merry man, as the sad. 


Ye hae found a mare's nest, and laugh at the eggs. 

Laugh and grow fat. 

After joy comes annoy. 

Its nae laughing to girn in a widdie. 

A lawyer's gown is lined with the selfishness o' his 


Law-makers shoudua be law-breakers. 
Abundance o' law breaks nae law. 
A dumb man wins nae law. 
A pennyweight o' love is worth a pound o' law. 
A* law is no justice. 
Ae law-suit breeds twenty. 
In a thousand pounds o' law, there 's no an ounce of 


Sue a beggar and gain a louse. 
Pleaing at the law, is like fighting through a whin bush, 

The harder the blows, the sairer the scarts. 
A wise lawyer ne'er gangs to law himsel. 
A bad judgment is better than a law-suit. 
He that loves law will get his fill o't. 
Law is costly, tak a pint and gree. 


A morning's sleep is worth a fauld o' sheep, to a hud- 

Ony thing for you about an honest man's house, but a 

day's wark. 
They 're eith hindered that 's no furdersome. 

LOVE. 41 

He ne'er made a gude darg, wha gaed grumbling 

about it. 
He that gapes till a bite fa' in his mouth, may gape 

till he die. 
There ne'er was a slut but had a slit, or a daw but 

had twa. 

The slothfu man maks a slim fortune. 
The slothfu man is the beggar's brither. 
Katie Sweerock, frae whare she sat, 
Cries, Reik me this and, Reik me that. 
Ye '11 do ony thing but work and rin errands. 
Ye '11 sit till you sweat, and work till you freeze. 
Ye tak but a foal's share o' the harrows. 
Ye 're like the dogs o' Dunraggit, ye winna bark unless 

you hae your hinder end at the wa'. 
Lazy youth maks lousy age. 


We 're aye to learn, as lang as we live. 
Ne'er ower auld to learn. 

Learn young, learn fair: 

Learn auld, learn mair. 
By learning naething, we learn to do ill. 


Cauld cools the love that kindles ower het. 
Fan'd fires and forced love ne'er did weel. 
He that loves dearly, chides severely. 
Het love, hasty vengeance. 
Love is without law. 

42 LYING. 

Love and light winna hide. 

Love has nae lack, be the dame ne'er sae black. 

Love ower het soonest cools. 

Love is ne'er without jealousy. 

Love looks o'er mony faults. 

Love mysel, love my dog. 

Love and lairdships like nae marrows. 

Love is as warm amang cottars as courtiers. 

Love thinks nae ill, envy speaks nae gude. 

Loe me little and loe me lang. 

Nae herb will cure love. 

Perfect love canna be without equality. 

If you loe me, let it kythe. 

There 's nae lack in love. 

They that lie down in love, should rise fasting. 

They that love maist speak least. 

When love cools, faults are seen. 

Dinna sigh for him, but send for him : if he be unhang'd 

he '11 come. 
Whare the heart gaes let the tail follow. 


A Her should hae a gude memory. 

A Her is an economist of truth. 

A lie has nae legs, but scandal has wings. 

He never lies but when the Holland 's green. 

If a lie could hae worried you, you would hae been 

dead langsyne. 
It 's a sin to lie on the deil. 
Poets and painters hae liberty to lie. 


Show me a constant Her, and I '11 show you a constant 


Ye didna lick your lips since you lied last. 
Lying rides on debt's back. 


Meat feeds, claith cleads, but manners mak the man. 
Meat is gude but mense is better. 
He 's better fed than bred. 
They were scant o' bairns that brought you up. 
Ye hae gude manners, but you bear them not about wi' 


A man canna wive and thrive the same year. 

Better half hang'd than ill married. 

Better marry ower the midden than ower the inuir. 

He that marries a daw, eats muckle dirt. 

He that marries before he is wise, will die before he 

He 's a fool wha marries at Yule, for when the bairn 's 

to bear, the corn 's to shear. 
He wha tells his wife a', is but shortly married. 
He wha marries for love without money, hath merry 

nights and sorry days. 
He that marries a widow will hae a dead man's head 

often thrown in his dish. 

He that marries a widow, marries a pockfu' o pleas-sure. 
If marriages are made in heaven, you hae few friends 



If ye winna, anither will ; sae are maidens married. 
If gude marriages are made in heaven, whare are the 

bad anes made? 

Like blude, like gude, like age, mak the happy marriage. 
Marriages and deaths break term days. 
Marry your son when you will, but your dochter when 

you can. 

Marry a beggar and get a louse for your tocher. 
Marry aboon your match and get a master. 
Marriage and hanging gaes by destiny. 
Married folk are like a rat in a trap fain to get ithers 

in, but fain to be out themsels. 
Marry for love and work for siller. 
Wha marries between the sickle and the scythe will 

never thrive. 

Weding and ill wintering tames baith man and beast. 
Never marry a widow unless her first husband was 

Ye hae tied a knot wi' your tongue, you winna loose wi' 

your teeth. 


A sinking master aft maks a rising man. 
Early master soon knave. 
A master's ee maks a fat horse. 
The master's foot is the best foulzie. 
Like master, like man. 
Mony ane serves a thankless master. 
Mony masters, quo' the taid, when every tynd o' the 
harrow took him a tide. 



A fou wame maks a straight back. 

A wamefu 's a wamefu, were 't but o' cauld kail. 

Meat and mass ne'er hinder'd wark. 

There 's baith meat and music here, quo' the dog, when 

he ate the piper's bag. 
The cause is gude, and the word's fa' tae. 
Ye 're as fou o' mischief as an egg 's fou o' meat. 


Ell and tell is gude merchandise. 

Dry bargains are seldom successful. 

Buy at the market and sell at hame. 

Gude wares mak a quick market. 

Hale sale is gude sale. 

He that lends you hinders you to buy. 

He has got the boot and the better beast. 

He wad need to be twice sheeled and ance ground that 

deals wi' you. 

The green profit is aye the best. 
There 's a difference between Will you sell ? and 

Will you buy ? 

They buy gudes cheap, that bring hame naething. 
The greatest burdens are no the maist gainful. 
Forgotten pains, when follow gains. 
He loses his time that comes early to a bad bargain. 
The best payment is on the peck bottom. 


Ane may think, that daurna speak. 


Any port in a storm. 

He sits fu' close that has a riven breek. 

He '11 rather turn than burn. 

He maun lout that has a laigh door. 

Maun do is a fell fallow. 

Mony ane doth lack what they 'd fain hae in their pack. 

Need maks greed. 

Need maks the auld wife trot. 

Necessity has nae law. 

Necessity is a hard master. 

Necessity 's the mither o' invention. 


A great man and a great river are often ill neighbours. 

A gude lawyer, an ill neighbour. 

I would rather strive wi' the great rigg than wi' an ill 

'We can live without our friends, but no without our 



Patience wi' poverty, is a man's best remedy. 

Patience is a plaster for a' sairs. 

Thole weel, is gude for burning. 

He that canna thole, maun flit mony a hole. 

Dree out the inch, as ye hae done the span. 


Plenty maks dainty. 
Walth gars wit waver. 


He kensna the pleasures o' plenty, wha ne'er felt the 
pains o' penury. 


A gien piece is soon eaten. 

Ae half o' the warld kens not how the other half live. 

A light purse maks a heavy heart. 

An empty purse fills the face wi' wrinkles. 

A sillerless man gaes fast through the market. 

A toom purse maks a blate merchant. 

A poor man is fain o' little. 

A poor man gets a poor marriage. 

As poor as a kirk mouse. 

Aye taking out o' the meal pock, and ne'er putting 

in 't, soon comes to the bottom. 
Bare backs mak burnt shins. 
Bare shouthers mak mizzled shins. 
Bashfulness is an enemy to poverty. 
He that hasna gear to tine, has shins to pine. 
He 's as bare as the birk at Yule. 
He that has nae siller in his purse, should hae silk on 

his tongue. 

Fresh fish and puir friends, soon grow ill sar'd. 
It 's sin, and no poverty, that maks a man miserable. 
For puir folk, they ring seldom. 
Mony ane would hae been waur, had their estates been 


Pennyless sauls maun pine in purgatory. 
Poverty is the mither o' a' arts. 
Poets and painters are aye poor. 


Poor folks' friends soon misken them. 

Pourtith parts gude company. 

Pourtith is pain, but nae disgrace. 

Poor folk hae neither ony kindred nor ony friends. 

The back and the belly keep the hands busy. 

The poor man is aye put to the warst. 

The poor man pays for a'. 

The best that can happen to a poor man, is that ae 

bairn die and the rest follow. 
When gude cheer is lacking, friends go a-packing. 
When we want, friends are scant. 
Pourtith is better than pride. 
Wi' an empty hand nae man can hawks lure. 
When poverty comes in at the door, love flees out by 

the window. 


Self-praise is nae honour. 

True praise taks root and spreads. 

Praise without profit puts little in the purse. 

Self-praise comes aye stinking ben. 


Prayer moves the hand that moves the warld. 
Prayer should be the key o' the day and the lock 

the night. 
God send you the warld you bode, and that 's neith( 

scant nor want. 
God send us some siller, for they 're little thought 

that want it. 

PRIDE. 49 

Prayer and practice is gude rhyme. 
" God keep ill gear out o' my hands ; for if my hands 
ance get it, my heart will ne'er part wi't," sae 
prayed the gude Earl of Eglinton. 
God be wi' the gude laird o' Balmaghie, for he ne'er 

took mair frae a poor man than what he had. 
God help them that 's gotten by ane and brought up 

by anither. 

God help the rich folk, for the poor can beg. 
God send you mair sense, and me mair siller. 
He that sittes down to the buirde to eit, 
Forgetting to gif God thanks for his meit, 
Syne rysis up and lets his grace o^fcpass, 
Sittes down lyk an ox, and rysis ly^Vie ass. 

From John Maxwell's ^Irfo, 1584. 

A proud hoar^ppe poor breast, has muckle dolour to 


A twalpenny cat may look at the king. 
A proud mind and a beggar's purse agree ill thegither. 
Alike ilka day, maks a clout on Sunday. 
A 's no gowd that glitters. 
A' Stewarts are no sib to the king. 

' Campbells are no sib to the duke. 
An only dochter is either a deil or a daw. 
As gude may baud the stirrup as he that loups on. 
As you thrive, your feet fails you. * 
Arrogance is a weed that grows maistly in a midden. 
Bare gentry, bragging beggars. 


Bastard brood are aye proud. 

Deil stick pride, for my dog died o 't. 

He struts like a craw in a gutter. 

He thinks himsel worth muckle mice dirt. 

He thinks himsel nae page's peer. 

He thinks himsel nae sheep's-shank. 

He 's a proud horse that winna carry his ain provendeiv 

I wish I had as muckle black pepper, as he thinks^ 

himsel wordy o' mice dirt. 
Pride will get a fa.' 
Pride but profit, soon gangs barefoot. 
Pride and laziness tak muckle uphauding. 
Pride and gi^^ ne'er dwalt in ae place. 
Pride finds^Wcauld. 
Pride gaesJKre a Fa'. 

Pride that dines wi' vanity, sups wi' contempt. 
Pride never leaves its master till he gets a fa'. 
Shame fa' them that think shame ^^Jo themsels a 

gude turn. 

When pride 's in the van, begging 's in the rear. 
Ye '11 fa' in the midden, looking at the moon. 
The haughty hawk, winna stoop to carrion. 
The proudest nettle grows on the midden. 


A bird in the- band' 's worth twa in a bush. 
A bird m fne hand 's worth twa fleeing by. 

He that buys a house that 's wrought, 

Has mony a pin and nail for nought. 
He that aughts the cow gaes nearest her tail. 


He that has ae sheep in a flock, will like a the lave 

the better for 't. * 

He that has a cow in the mire, will first put his foot 


There ne'er was a loss without some sma profit. 
Possession is eleven points o' the law. 
He that gets gear before he gets wit, will die ere he 

The ill use we mak o' our prosperity is often the cause 

o' our misfortunes. 


A penny saved is twice earn'd. 

A bite is aften better gien than eaten. 

A sma leak will sink a great ship. 

Ane may like the kirk weel enough, and no ride on 

the riggin o 't. 

Ax your pursfg^at you should buy. 
As the wind blaws, 8e*ek your beild. 
Aye tak the fee when the tear 's in the ee. 
Bear and forbear, is gude philosophy. 
Better at a time to gie than tak. 
Better master ane than fight wi' ten. 
Before you choose a friend, eat a peck o' saut wi' him. 

a friend to yoursel, and ithers will. 
Be what you seem, and seem what you : are. 
Be the thing ye wad be ca'd. 
Be ready with your hat, but slow with your purse. 
Count sillec after a' your kin. 
Count like Jews, and gree like brithers. 


Cast not out the auld water, till the new come in. 
Combat vice in the first attack, and ye '11 come aft* 


Cut your coat according to your claith. 
Dinna cast awa the cog when the cow flings. 
Dinna tell your fae when your fit sleeps. 
Dinna scald your mouth wi' ither folk's kail. 
Dinna meddle wi' the deil, and the laird's bairns. 
Deal sma and sair a'. 
Get what you can, and keep what you hae, is the way 

to get rich. 
Get weel, keep weel. 
Gude watchJfcevents harm. 
Gude gearJ^K) to be gaped at. 

He has a pBe judgment wha doesna lippen to his ain. 
He winna sell his hen on a rainy day. 
If you would be a merchant fine, beware o' auld horses, 

herring, and wine. ^^ 

It 's gude to dread the warst, the best will be the 


Keep woo and it will be dirt : 
Keep lint and it will be silk. 
Keep your ain fish guts for your ain sea-maws. 
Let weel alane. 
Let sleeping dogs lie. 
Little meddling maks fair parting. 
Let your horse drink what he will, but not when he will. 
Lock your door that you may keep your neighbour 

Lay a thing by, and it will come o' use. 


Mak friends o' fremit folk. 

Mak the best o' a bad bargain. 

Mak your hay when the sun shines. 

Ne'er draw your dirk when a dunt will do. 

Never find fault wi' my shoon, unless you pay my souter. 

When you 're in Rome, do as the folk o' Rome do. 

Wink at sma faults, ye hae great anes yoursel. 

You '11 ne'er harry yoursel wi' your ain hands. 

Though auld and wise, yet still advise. 


A gude tongue is a safe weapon. 

A gude word is as easy said as an ill 

A close mouth catches nae flies. 

A meek answer slockens melancholy. 

A man may baud his tongue in an ill time. 

A' the truth shouldna be tauld. 

A' that 's said in the kitchen, shouldna be tauld in 

the ha.' 

Ale-sellers should not be tale-tellers. 
Believe not a' you hear, and tell not a' you believe. 
Fair words break nae banes, foul words mony ane. 
He should not speak o' rapes, whose father was hang'd. 
He that speaks the thing he shouldna, will hear the 

thing he wouldna. 
He kens muckle wha kens when to speak, but far mair 

wha kens when to baud his tongue. 
Little said is soonest mended. 
It 's a gude tongue that says nae ill, but a better heart 

that thinks nane. 


Speak not o' rapes in the house, whare the father was 

Seek muckle, get something ; seek little, and get 

Speak when you 're spoken to, and drink when you 're 

drucken to. 

They 're scant o' news wha tell their father was hang'd. 
Think mair than you say. 
Think twice, speak hut ance. 


A gude name is sooner tint than won. 

Reputation iSjpften got without merit, and tint without 


Reputation is to virtue, what light is to a picture. 
They that get the name o' early rising, may lie in bed 

a' day. 
The first step to a gude name is a gude life, and the 

next step is gude behaviour. 
Better a gude name than a fou house. 


A fou hand may count wi' the deil. 

A fou purse maks a tattling merchant. 

A fou purse never lacks friends. 

A fou purse maks a man speak. 

A penny in the purse is a merry companion. 

A penny in my purse will gar me drink when my 

friends winna. 
As the carl riches, he retches. 


A rich man's wooing need seldom be a lang ane. 

As wealth wanders, wit weakens. 

A rich man has mair cousins than his father had kin. 

A gowd key will open ony lock. 

A penny in the purse is better than a crown spent. 

A heavy purse maks a light heart. 

Be it better, be it warse, be ruled by him that has the 


Bear wealth, poverty will bear itself. 
Gear is easier gotten then guided. 
Gowd gets in at ilka yett, except heaven. 
Gowd is gude, only in the hand o' virtue. 
He 's weel stocket there ben, that will neither borrow 

nor. len. 
He that has siller in his purse, canna want a head on 

his shouthers. 

He 's rich that has nae debt. 

He 's no aye the happiest man that has the maist gear. 
Leal folk ne'er wanted gear. 
Live within your income, and live lang, is the sure way 

to get rich. 

Little wealth, little sorrow. 
Money is better than my lord's letter. 
Money would beget, if there was money to get it. 
Money is aye welcome, were it in a dirty clout. 
Money maks the mare to go. 
Money is the root o' a' ill. 
Moyen does muckle, but money does mair. 
Mony ane's gear is mony ane's death. 
Mony purses baud friends lang thegether. 


Money is like the muck midden, it does nae gude till 
it be spread. 

Riches has made mair men covetous, than covetousness 
has made men rich. 

Rich folk hae routh o' friends. 

Rich folk's wit rives poor folk's jaws. 

Riches are got wi' pain, kept wi' care, and tint wi' grief. 

There 's nae companion like the penny. 

Wealth as it is bestowed, and knowledge as it is com- 
municated, properly constitute its value. 

When honour grew mercenary, riches grew honourable. 

Wealth, like want, ruins mony. 


The meal cheap, and the shoon dear, 
The souter's wife likes weel to hear. 

Every miller would weise the water to his ain mill. 

Farmers' faugh gars lairds laugh. 


A wilfu man maun hae his way. 

A wilfu man should be unco wise. 

He that will to Cupar, maun to Cupar. 

He that winna be counselled canna be helped. 

Tak your ain will o't, as the cat did o' the haggis first 

ate the haggis, and then creepit into the bag. 
Tak your ain will o't, and you'll no die o' the pet. 
You're as wilfu as a sow you'll neither lead nor drive. 
He wouldna gie an inch o' his ain will for a span o' his 




Slander leaves a slur. 

Slander leaves a sair behind. 

A tale ne'er tines in the telling. 

A tale-bearer is waur than a thief. 

Ne'er speak ill o' them whose bread you eat. 

Our bosom friends are sometimes our backbiters. 


A sorrowfu' heart 's aye dry. 
Sorrow is gude for naething but sin. 
Sorrow and ill weather comes unsent for. 
Sorrow is soon aneugh when it comes. 
All earthly pleasures perish in sorrow. 
Dool and an ill life, soon mak an auld wife. 
He 's weel worth sorrow, that buys 't wi' his ain siller. 
Seyle ne'er comes till sorrow be awa. 
Time and thinking tames the strongest grief. 
When sorrow comes, it runs. 
When sorrow sleeps, wake it not. 
O' a' sorrows, a fou sorrow is the best. 
Sadness and gladness succeed each other. 


Begin wi' needle and preen, and end wi' cow and ewe. 
Begin wi' needle and preen and end wi' horned nowte. 
He that steals a preen, will steal a better thing. 
He that steals an auld man's supper, does him a kind- 
A careless watch invites the thief. 




If the deil be laird, ye'll be tenant. 

It 's ill to say it 's wrang, when my lord says it 's right. 

Ye '11 wag as the bush wags. 

Ye 're aye ready to blaw in his lug. 

As lang as ye serve the tod, ye maun carry his tail. 


Ae man's meat is anither man's poison. 
Ae man's breath is anither man's death. 
Ilka ane to their taste, quo' the man, when he kissed 

his cow. 

Ilka man as he likes, let him send to the cook. 
It 's no aye gude in the maw, that 's sweet in the 


Fancy surpasseth beauty. 
The proof o' the puddin 's the preeing o't. 
Them that like the middin, see nae mots in 't. 


Buy what you dinna want, and ye '11 sell what you 

canna spare. 
He that spends his gear before he gets 't, will hae little 

gude o't. 

He eats the calf in the cow's wame. 
He that winna save a penny will ne'er hae ony. 
He that borrows and biggs maks feasts and thiggs 
Drinks and is not dry, these three are not thrifty. 
He that winna lout and lift a preen, will ne'er be worth 

a groat. 


He wha spends before he thrives, will beg before he 


Spare at the spiggot, and let out at the bung hole. 
Tine needle tine thrift. 
Tine needle tine darg. 

The thrift o' you will be the death o' your guddame. 
The thrift o' you, and the woo o' a dog, would make a 

braw web. 
There was ne'er a thrifty wife wi' a clout about her 


Thrift is a gude revenue. 

Your thrift gaes as far as the profit o' a yeld hen. 
Ye canna get thriving for thrang. 
A fat kitchen is near to poverty. 


Truth has a gude face but raggit claes. 
Truth and oil are aye uppermost. 
Truth will aye stand without a prop. 
Truth is the dochter o' time. 
In ower muckle clavering truth is tint. 
There 's mony a sooth word spoken in bourding. 


Virtue is its ain reward. 

Virtue that requires a guard, is no worth a centinel. 
Virtue is above value. 

Gold is beneficial only in the hands of virtue. 
Search others for their virtues, and yourself for your 

60 WASTE. 


He that 's welcome fares weel. 

The wife 's aye welcome that comes wi' a crooket 

Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen. 

His room is better than his company. 

He 's as welcome as water in a riven ship. 

He 's as welcome as snaw in hairst. 

His absence is glide company. 

He that comes unca'd, sits unsair'd. 

Stay nae langer in a friend's house than you 're 

Fresh fish, and unwelcome visitors, stink before they 
are three days auld. 

A constant guest is ne'er welcome. 

" Our sowens are ill soured, ill sythed, ill sauted, ill 
soden, thin and few o' them : ye may stay a' 
night, but ye may gae hame an you like. It's weel 
ken'd your father's son was ne'er a scambler," 
(one who seeks his meat among his friends.) A 
speech made by a wife to an unwelcome visitor, 
since used as a Proverb. 


War maks thieves, and peace hangs them. 
When drums beat, law is silent. 


Biggin, and bairns marrying, are arrant wasters. 
Mak nae hawks o' gude bear land. 


It 's nae wonder wasters want and laithrons lag 


It 'a weel war'd that wasters want. 
Kindle a candle at baith ends and it will soon burn out. 
Put a cow in a clout and she will soon wear out. 
Wilfu waste maks woefu want. 
Haste maks waste, and waste maks want. 


To him that wills, ways are seldom wanting. 

Eith to that thy ain heart wills. 

Its eith working when will's at hame. 

Naething is ill to be done when will's at hame. 

When there 's a will there 's a way. 

When the will 's ready, the feet 's light. 


A wife is wise aneugh wha kens her gudeman's breeks 

frae her ain kirtle. 

An ounce o' a man's ain wit, is worth ten o' ither folk's. 
An ounce o' wit is worth a pound o' lear. 
An ounce o' mitherwit is' worth a pound o' clergy. 
A wise man gets learning frae them that has nane to 


A wise head maks a close mouth. 
A little wit sairs a lucky man. 
A wise man wavers, a fool is fixed. 
He 's a wise man wha can tak care o' himsel. 
He 's wise that can mak a friend o' a fae. 
He 's wise that 's wise in time. 


He 's wise that warns in time. 
He 's wise that 's timely wary. 
He has mair wit in his wee finger, than ye hae in 

your hail bouk. 

He who serves God, is the truly wise man. 
Wit ance bought, is worth it twice taught. 
If misfortune maks us wise, it pays for our losses. 
Honest men marry soon, wise men never. 
He 's a wise bairn that kens his ain father. 
The greatest clerks are no the wisest men. 
Wit bought maks wise folk. 
Wit in a poor man's pow, and moss on a mountain, 

avail little. 

Want o' wit is waur than want o' gear. 
Young men are made wise, auld men become so. 
Better ae wit bought than twa for nought. 
Wisdom is best taught by distress. 
He who ne'er thinks will ne'er be wise. 
The less wit a man has, the less he kens the want o't. 


A woman's mind is like the wind in a winter night. 

A woman 's gude either for something or naething. 

A woman's wark is ne'er done. 

It's no What is she ? but, What has she ? 

Frailty, thy name is Woman. 

Women laugh when they can, and greet when they will. 

Women and wine, dice and deceit, mak wealth sma, 

and want great. 
A woman is at the best, when she 's openly bad. 

WIVES. 63 


A bonnie wife and a back door, aften mak a man poor. 

A grunting horse, and a graining wife, seldom fail 
their master. 

A gude wife and health, is a man's best wealth. 

A horse broken and a wife to break. 

A horse made and a wife to mak. 

A house wi' a reek and a wife wi' a reard, will mak 
a man rin to the door. 

A fair wife without a tocher, is like a fine house with- 
out furniture. 

A toom pantry maks a thriftless gudewife. 

An ill wife and a new lighted candle, should hae their 
heads hauden down. 

A yeld sow was ne'er gude to gryces. 

Auld wives and bairns mak fools o' physicians. 

Auld wives were aye gude maidens. 

A' are gude lasses, but whare cam the ill wives frae ? 

Bad legs and ill wives ought to stay at hame. 

Choose your wife on Saturday, and not on Sunday. 

Choose thy wife amang the virtuous, and thy friend 
amang the wise. 

Every man can guide an ill wife, but him that has her. 

Breeding wives are aye greening. 

Flaes and a girning wife are wakerife bedfallows. 

Greening wives are aye greedy. 

He that has an ill wife should eat muckle but her. 

He that has a bonnie wife, needs mair than twa een. 

He that has a wife has a master. 

He has faute o' a wife, wha marries mam's pet. 

64 WIVES. 

Lang tongued wives gang lang wi' bairn. 

Mak your wife a gowdspink, and she '11 turn a water- 

Ne'er seek a wife, till you hae got a house and a fire 

to put her in. 

Ne'er tak a wife till you ken what to do wi' her. 
Nae man can thrive unless his wife will let him. 
Next to nae wife, a gude wife is the best. 
She 's a wise wife that kens her ain weird. 
She 's the happiest wife that marries the son of a dead 


She '11 wear like a horse shoe the langer the clearer. 
She that has an ill man, shows it in her claes. 

The gude or ill hap o' a gude or ill life, 

Is the gude or ill choice o' a gude or ill wife. 
The death o' your first wife made sic a hole in your 

heart, that a' the rest slipp'd through. 
There 's ae gude wife in the warld, and ilka ane thinks 

he has her. 

Wives maun hae their wills while they live, 
For they mak nane when they die. 
Wives maun be had, whether gude or bad. 
Wives and wind are necessary evils. 
Wives and water-mills are aye wanting. 
Waes the wife that wants the tongue, but weels the 

man that gets her. 
You may drive the deil into a wife, but you '11 ne'er 

ding him out o' her. 
Ye would mak a gude wife you baud the grip you 


WORTH. 65 


A fair maiden tocherless, will get mae wooers than 

A maid aft seen, and a gown aft worn, are disesteemed 

and held in scorn. 

A tocherless dame stays lang at bame. 
A dink maiden aft maks a dirty wife. 
A seven years' maiden is aye at the slight. 
Ladies and turkies need delicate upbringing. 
Like the lassies o' Bayordie, ye learn by the lug. 
Lasses and glasses are bmckle wares. 
Maidens' bairns, and bachelors' wives are aye weel bred. 
Maidens should be mim till they 're married, and then 

they may burn kirks. 
Maidens' tochers, and ministers' stipends, are aye less 

than they 're ca'd. 
Maidens' bairns are aye weel bred. 

Maidens should be mild and meek, 
Quick to hear, and slow to speak. 
Maidens want naething but a husband, and then they 

want every thing. 

Mealy mou'd maidens stand lang at the mill. 
She has coosten a lagen-gird. 
They rin fast that deils and lasses drive. 
There are mair maidens than mawkins. 
Whistling maidens and crawing hens, were ne'er very 


Worth has been under-rated ever since wealth has been 


66 YOUTH. 

Worth may be blamed, but ne'er ashamed. 

We ne'er ken the worth o' water till the well be dry. 

He 's worth gowd that can win 't. 

The worth o' a thing, is what it will bring. 

The worth o' a thing is best kent by the want o't. 

The first step to virtue is to love it in anither. 

Virtue ne'er grows auld. 

If a gude man thrive, a' thrives wi' him. 


Some hae a hantle o' faults, ye' re only a ne'er-do-weel. 

Shame is past the shade o' your hair. 

Never gude egg nor bird. 

The day ye do weel there will be seven moons in the 

lift, and ane in the midden. 

Ye 're like a rotten nut, no worth cracking for the kernel. 
Ye 're no worth ca'ing out o' a kail-yard. 
Ye 're loose in the heft. 
Ye 're like the tod grey before ye 're gude. 
Ye 're a widdiefou gin hanging time. 
Ye '11 die like a trooper's horse wi' your slioon on. 
Ye '11 worry in the baud, like M'Ewan's calf. 


Reckless youth maks ruefu' age. 
Royet lads mak sober men. 
Raw dauds mak fat lads. 
Rule youth weel, and age will rule itsel. 
The lazy lad maks a stark auld man. 
A raggit cowte aft maks a noble aiver. 


A bald head is soon shaven. 

A bad wound may heal, but a bad name will kill. 

A black hen lays a white egg. 

A constant guest is never welcome. 

A common blot is nae stain. 

A crooning cow, a crawing hen, and a whistling maiden 

were ne'er very chancy. 
A craw is nae whiter for being wash'd. 
A craket bell will never mend. 
A club foot winna mak a gude shinty. 
A doctor and a clown, kens mair than a doctor alane. 
Ae rotten apple spoils its neighbour. 
A fat kitchen maks a lean will. 
A fat sow has eaten her ain banes. 
A fou heart is aye kind. 
A gieu game was ne'er won. 
A gien horse shouldna be look'd in the mouth. 
A groat is ill saved that shames its master. 
A gude calf is better than a calf o' a gude kind. 
A gude name is better than a girdle o' gowd. 
A gude word finds a gude place. 


A gude cow may hae an ill calf. 

A gude tale 's no the waur o' being twice tauld. 

A gude word before, is worth twa behind. 

A gude year winna mak him, nor an ill year break him. 

A gude greive is better than an ill worker. 

A guilty conscience needs nae accuser, a clear con- 
science fears nane. 

A hen that lays thereout, should hae a white nest-egg. 

A hook is weel tint to catch a salmon. 

A horse wi' four feet may snapper. 

A house built, and a vine planted, never sold for what 
they cost. 

A lang tongue has a short hand. 

A little pot is soon hot. 

A layen hen is better than a stan'in mill. 

A man's hat in his hand ne'er did him harm. 

A moudiewort needs nae lantern. 

A man has nae mair gudes than he gets gude o'. 

A man canna bear a' his ain kin about on his ain back. 

A muffled cat was ne'er a gude mouser. 

A new pair o' breeks will cast down an auld doublet. 

A new besom soops clean. 

A kiss and a drink o' water is but a wersh breakfast. 

A pound o' woo is as heavy as a pound o' lead. 

A rough bane maks a fou wame. 

A reproof is nae poison. 

A taking hand will ne'er want, let the world be ne'er 
sae scant. 

A wee house has a muckle mouth. 

A wee mouse will creep beneath a muckle corn stack. 


A tinkler ne'er was a town taker ; 

A tailor was ne'er a hardy man ; 

Nor yet a wabster leal o' his trade : 

Nor ever were since the warld began. 
A wee house has a wide throat. 
A wee house is better than nae beild. 
A winter night, a woman's mind, and a laird's purpose 

aften change. 
Ae man may tak a horse to the water, but twenty 

winna gar him drink. 
Ae scabbit sheep will smit a hail hirsell. 
Ae hand is nae hand. 
A man may woo whare he will, but maun wed whare 

his wife is. 

Amendment is true repentance. 
An honest occupation is the best patrimony. 
A scalded cat dreads cauld water. 
A place at court is a constant bribe. 
Ae turn weel done is twice done. 
Auld tods need nae tutors. 
Avoid in yoursel what you blame in ithers. 
A wamefou 's a wamefou, were 't but o' bear-caff. 
A wonder lasts but nine days, and then the puppy's 

een are open. 

A wild goose ne'er laid tame eggs. 
A raggit coat is armour against the robber. 
Ae sheaf o' a stook is enough. 
Ae vice is mair expensive than mony virtues. 
Ae swallow doesna mak a simmer. 
After a storm comes a calm. 


After clouds comes fair weather. 

Aft ettle, whiles hit. 

A' complain o' want o' siller, but nane o' want o' sense. 

A' ills are gude untried. 

A' is weel that ends weel. 

A' is no tint that 's in hazard. 

A' is no at hand that helps. 

A' things are gude untried. 

A' is no tint that fa's bye. 

An auld horse may die waiting for the grass. 

An auld sack needs muckle clouting. 

An auld pock is aye skailing. 

An eating horse ne'er fouuder'd. 

An ill turn is soon done. 

Ane may do the skaith, and anither get the wyte. 

Ane may like a haggis weel enough, that would not 

like the bag bladded on his chafts. 
Ane is no sae soon healed as hurt. 
Amaist was ne'er hang'd. 
As lang lasts the hole as the heal-leather. 
As the bag fills, the drones rise. 
As gude eat the deil, as sup the kail he 's boil'd in. 
A little body may hae a great soul. 
A lang tongue is the sign o' a short hand. 
A word is enough to the wise. 
A' complain o' want o' memory, but nane o' want o' 


A' the wit in the warld 's no in ae pow. 
A' cracks mamma be trew'd. 
A' that ye '11 get will be a kist and a sheet, after a'. 


A' are no thieves that dogs bark at. 

Ance is nae custom. 

As many castles hae been ta'en by clemency as cruelty. 

As the market gaes, the wares maun sell. 

As ane flits anither sits, and that maks mailings dear. 

As gude merchants tine as win. 

As muckle upwith as muckle downwith. 

As ye brew sae maun you drink. 

A short grace is gude for hungry folk. 

Bairn's mither burst never. 

Bannocks are better than nae bread. 

Because is a woman's reason. 

Bees that hae honey in their mouths, hae stings in 

their tails. 

Beef steaks and porter is gude belly mortar. 
Better a bite in the morning than fast a' day. 
Better a clout than a hole out. 
Better a dog fawn on you than bark at you. 
Better plays the fou wame than the new coat. 
Better a finger aff than aye wagging. 
Better a sair tae than a fause friend. 
Better a tocher in her than wi' her. 
Better a sma fish than an empty dish. 
Better a toom house than an ill tenant. 
Better a wee ingle to warm you, than a muckle fire to 

burn you. 

Better ae ee than hail blind. 

Better ae pair o' heels, than twa pair o' hands, at a time. 
Better a lean horse than a toom halter. 


Better auld debts than auld sairs. 

Better do it than wish it done. 

Better be blythe wi' little than wi' naething. 

Better be friends at a distance than enemies at hame. 

Better be envied than pitied. 

Better be alane than in ill company. 

Better be kind than cumbersome. 

Better be the head o' the commons than the tail o' the 

Better be at the end o' a feast than at the beginning o' 

a fray. 

Better bairns greet than bearded men. 
Better be merry wi' something than sad wi' naething. 
Better bow than break. 

Better bow to my faes than beg frae my friends. 
Better buy than borrow. 
Better cry, Feigh, saut than Feigh, stink. 
Better day, the better deed. 
Better eat grey bread in youth than in eild. 
Better fed than bred. 
Better filled than prick'd. 
Better flatter a fool than fight him. 
Better gang to bed supperless than rise in debt. 
Better gang about than fa' in the dub. 
Better you laugh than I greet. 
Better gie the slight than tak it. 
Better gude sale than gude ale. 
Better a gude form than a fair face. 
Better hands loose than in ill tethering. 
Better haud wi' the hound than rin wi' the hare. 


Better baud out than put out. 

Better happy at court than in gude service. 

Better half egg than toom doup. 

Better hae than want. 

Better idle than ill employed. 

Better kiss a knave than cast out wi' him. 

Better keep weel than mak weel. 

Better keep the deil without the door, than drive him 

out o' the house. 

Better late thrive than ne'er do weel. 
Better live than lack. 

Better my bairns seek frae me, than I frae my bairns. 
Better ne'er begun than ne'er ended. 
Better ower't than on't. 
Better play for nought than work for nought. 
Better ride on an ass that carries you, than a horse that 

throws you. 

Better rue sit than rue flit. 
Better sma fish than nae fish. 
Better saut than sour. 

Better saucht wi' little aught than care wi' mony cows. 
Better spared than ill spent. 
Better say Here it is, than Here it was. 
Better skaiths saved than mends made. 
Better to baud than draw. 
Better to find iron than tine siller. 
Better to hae ae plough gaun, than twa cradles. 
Better the bam filled than the bed. 
Better the ill ken'd than the ill unken'd. 
Better twa skaiths than ae sorrow. 


Better to sit still than rise and get a fa'. 

Better to leave than want. 

Better to learn frae your neighbour's skaith than your 


Better thole a gramph than a sumph. 
Better unborn than untaught. 
Better unkind than ower cumbersome. 
Better wade back mid water, than gang forward and 

be drowned. 

Better weel liked than ill won gear. 
Better your foot slip than your tongue. 
Better be merry and spend a', than sad and hain naething. 
Birk will burn, be it burn drawn ; 
Sauch will sab, if it were simmer sawn. 
Bluid 's thicker than water. 
Bonnie sport to fare weel and pay nothing for't. 
Bite not my bannock. 
Bode gude and get it. 
Bitter pills may hae blessed effects. 
Busy folk are aye meddling. 
Broken bread and brown ale winna bide lang. 
Bread and milk is bairns meat : I wish them sorrow 

that Iocs it. 
Buy what ye dinna want, and ye '11 sell what ye canna 


Can do, is easy carried about. 

Care will kill a cat, yet there 's nae living without it. 
Carls and cart aivers win all : carls and cart aivers 
spend all. 


Ca' your gudeman a cuckold in fun, and he '11 no believe 

Cauld panitch is sooner het again than new anes made. 

Cauld kail het again, that I liked never ; 

Auld love renewed again, that I liked ever. 
Cast you ower the house riggin, and ye '11 fa' on your 


Canna has nae craft. 
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being 


Charity begins at hame. 
Changes o' wark, is a lightening o' hearts. 
Clippet sheep will grow again. 

Clawing is bad: it begins wi' pleasure and ends wi' pain. 
Common fame is seldom to blame. 
Command your passions, or they will command you. 
Corn him weel, he '11 work the better. 
Counsel is nae command. 
Condition maks, condition breaks. 
Come when ye 're ca'd, and ye'll no be chiden. 
Custom is a second nature. 

Darning and laving is gude sure fishing. 

Danger past, God forgotten. 

Daylight will keek through a sma hole. 

Daub yoursel wi' honey and ye '11 ne'er want flies. 

Dead men are free'd men. 

Diet cures mair than the doctors. 

Dolour pays nae debts. 

Do you think you see a clear thing ? 


Eagles flee alane, but sheep herd thegither. 

Eggs will be in three bellies in four-and-twenty hours. 

Eith learned, soon forgotten. 

Envy aye shoots at a high mark. 

Enough 's enough o' bread and cheese. 

Equity judgeth with lenity, law with severity. 

Ever busy, ever bare. 

Every thing has a beginning. 

Every man kens best whare his ain sair lies. 

Every bird thinks its ain nest best. 

Every state is worm's meat. 

Every man has his weak side. 

Every man's nose winna be a shoeing horn. 

Every man's man had a man, and that gar'd the trave fa'. 

Every dog has his day, a bitch twa afternoons. 

Every thing has its time, and sae has the rippling-kame. 

Every thing has an end, and a puddin has twa. 

Every thing is the waur o' the wear. 

Evil words scald not the tongue. 

Evil words cut mair than swords. 

Fair hair has foul roots. 

Four-and-twenty tailors canna mak a man. 

Fairly and saftly gaes far journeys. 

Great bodies move slowly. 

Gude men are the masters o' their pleasures, bad men 

are the slaves o' theirs. 
Gin If s and And's, were pats and pans, what would 

tinklers do. 


Greatness may big the monument, but goodness maun 

gie the epitaph. 

Great pains and little gains soon mak a man weary. 
Great tochers makna aye the greatest testaments. 

Had I a fish, was ne'er gude wi garlic. 
Hae you gear, or hae you nane, 
Tine heart, and a' is gane. 
Hame is a hamely name. 
Herschip in the highlands ! the hens are i' the corn ; if 

the cock gets in, it will ne'er be shorn. 
Hankering and hanging on, is but a poor trade. 
Hae is half fou. 
He can ill rin that canna gang. 
He has the best memory wha minds every thing but 

an injury. 
He has wit at will. 

He kens the loan frae the crown o' the causey, as weel 
as the duck does the midden-hole frae the adle-dub. 
He is the slave o' a' slaves wha serves nane but himsel. 
He should be sindle angry that hae few to mease him. 
He has got a knight's boon aff her. 
He has spur metal in him. 
Help for help in hairst. 
Help is gude at a' thing, except at the cog. 

He that buys land buys stanes ; 

He that buys beef buys banes ; 

He that buys nuts buys shells; 

He that buys gude ale, buys naething else. 
He that oppresses honesty, ne'er had ony. 



He that comes o' the hens maun scrape. 

He that avoids temptation, avoids the sin. 

He that swims in sin will sink in sorrow. 

He that says what he likes, will hear what he doesna like. 

He that wants content, canna sit easy in his chair. 

He that pities another minds himsel. 

He that will be angry for onything, will be angry for 


He that has a fellow-ruler has an over-ruler. 
He that has gowd may buy land. 

He yat hes ane lytill hors, seine may he fall ; 

And he yat hes ane deife boy, lowde may he call ; 

And he yat hes ane fair wyfe, sair may he dreide 

Ither menis bairnes to foster, and to feide. 
He that canna confer a favour, maun seek ane unfairly. 
He that speaks to himsel speaks to a fool. 
He that lives in a glass house shouldna cast stanes 

at his neighbour. 

He that lippens to lent ploughs, his land will lie lea. 
He that does bidden, deserves nae dinging. 
He that tines his siller, is thought to hae tint his wit. 
He that kisses his wife at the market-cross, will hae 

mony to teach him. 

He that sells his wares for words, maun live by the loss. 
He that has a goose will get a goose. 
He that has but ae ee maun tent it weel. 
He that lends money to a friend has a double loss. 
He that has the langest sword is aye thought in the 

He that has a gude crap my bear wi' some thistles. 


He that rides ahint anither, doesna saddle when he 

He that tholes owercomes. 

He that deceives me ance, shame fa' him; he that 
deceives me twice, shame fa' me. 

He that 's first up 's no aye first sair'd. 

He that pays last ne'er pays twice. 

He that marries a maiden, marries a pockfu' o 'pleasure. 

He that marries a widow, marries a pockfu' o' pleas-sure. 

He that forsakes measure, measure forsakes him. 

He maun rise soon, that pleases a'body. 

He 's a gentle horse that ne'er threw his rider. 

He 's free o' his fruits that wants an orchard. 

He 's but daft that has to do, and spares for every speech. 

He's a mere couching carl, for a' his manly look. 

He 's a proud beggar that maks his ain awmous. 

He that would pu' the sweet rose, maun sometimes 
be scarted wi' the thorns. 

He that liveth weel, liveth lang. 

He that has twa hoards is able to get a third. 

He that 's rede for windlestraes, should never sleep on 

He that 's far frae his gear is near to his skaith. 

He that never eats flesh thinks harigalds a feast. 

He that shows his purse bribes the thie 

He that sells his wares for words maun live on wind. 

He that wears black maun wear a brush on his back. 

He that winna thole maun flit mony a hole. 

He that meddles wi' tuilyies may come in for the redd- 
ing stroke. 


He that counts before the hostler, counts twice. 

He has it o' kind, he coft it not. 

He has wit at will, that, when angry, can sit him still. 

It was ne'er a gude aiver that flung at the broose. 

He may be trusted wi' a house fou o' millstanes. 

He maun hae leave to speak wha canna haud his tongue. 

He 's unco fou in his ain house, that canna eat a potatoe 

in his neighbour's. 

He 's a gude gunner that aye hits the mark. 
He maun be a useless gudeman that 's ne'er miss'd. 
He 's a fool that forgets himsel. 
He 's weel stocket there ben, that will neither borrow 

nor lend. 

He 's like a flea in a blanket. 
He 's sairest dang whase ain wand dang him. 
He 's poor enough wha's ill-far' d. 
He 's a silly chield that can neither do nor say. 
He 's worth gowd wha can gain it, 
His auld brass will buy her a new pan. 
He '11 soon be a beggar that canna say na. 
He '11 either win the horse or tine the saddle. 
He '11 either mak a spoon or spill a horn. 
He '11 tell 't to nae mae than he meets. 
High trees show mair leaves than fruit. 
He 's out and in, like a dog at a fair. 
He 's gude that fail'd never. 
He 's a silly body that 's never miss'd. 
He 's worth nae weel, that bides nae wae. 
He 's weel eased that has o' his ain. 
Het sup, het swallow. 


He that can bear Dumbuck may bear Dumbarton. 

He that keeps the cat's dish, keeps her aye crying. 

He that looks not ere he loups, will fa' ere he wat. 

He that canna inak sport should mar nane. 

He that blaws in the stour fills his ain een. 

He that draws his sword against his prince, may throw 

awa the scabbard. 
He that lets his horse drink at every lake, and his wife 

gang to every wake, will ne'er want a whore nor a 


He that spits against the wind, spits in his ain face. 
He that grapes in the dark may fyle his fingers. 
He that lippens to chance, lippens his back to a slap. 
He that sleeps wi' dogs maun rise wi' flaes. 
He that hews aboon his head may get a spell in his ee. 
He that waits for a dead man's shoon, gaes lang barefit. 
He that hides is best o' seeking. 
Hope is the dream o' a waking man. 
He '11 put o'er the borrowing days. 
Highest in the court, nearest the widdie. 

I could hae done that mysel, but no sae weel. 

I hae seen mony a smaller, madam. 

I would rather see 't than hear tell o't, as blind Pate 


I tint the staff I herded wi'. 
I hae my meat and my mense. 
If better were within, better would come out. 
If I was at my ain burn-foot. 
It's the life o' an auld hat to be weel cocket. 


If you had been anither, I would hae denied you at 

the first word. 

If ye win at that, ye '11 lose at naethiiig. 
If I hae done amiss, I '11 mak amends. 
If you be angry, sit laigh and mease you. 
If you trust before you try, ye '11 repent before you die. 
I '11 pay you and put naething in your pouch. 
I wish ye had drank water when ye drank that drap 


I wish you had wist what you said. 
I winna mak a toil o' a pleasure, quo' the man, when 

he buried his wife. 

I can see as far into a millstane as he that pick'd it. 
If a' be weel, I '11 be wyteless. 
If I had you at Maggy Mill's house, I would get word 

about wi' you. 

If you sell the cow, you sell her milk too. 
If it sair me to wear, it may sair you to look at. 
If it wasna for the belly, the back would wear gowd. 
If you be not ga'd ye needna fling. 
If youth knew what age would crave, it would baith 

get and save. 

If she sair me to live wi', she may sair you to look at. 
It 's but a year sooner to the begging. 
It 's better to keep a cow than an ass. 
Ilka bird maun hatch its ain egg. 
Its no the burden, but the over-burden, that kills the 


It 's lang to Lammas. 
It 's no for naething the cat licket the stane. 


It 's eitli to learn you a gude use. 

It 's neither rhyme nor reason. 

It 's gude fighting under a buckler. 

It 's a rare matter for siller to lack a master. 

It 's a friend that ruses you. 

It has nae ither father but you. 

If the auld wife hadna been in the oven hersel, she 

ne'er would hae thought o' seeking her dochter 


If s and And's spoil mony a gude charter. 
In a great frost, a nail is worth a horse. 
Ill hearing maks ill rehearsing. 
Its lang ere four bare legs gather heat in a bed. 
It 's lang or like to die fills the kirk-yard. 
It 's lang or you cry, Schou, to an egg. 
It 's no aye tint that fa's bye. 

It 's no the rumbling cart that fa's first ower the brae. 
It 's no a' gowd that glitters. 
It 's best travelling wi' a horse in your hand. 
It 's no the cowl that maks the friar. 
It 's no the creaking car that 's soonest coupet. 
It 's no for naething the gled whistles. 
It 's nae play when ane laughs and anither greets. 
It 's a sort of favour to be denied at first. 
It 's needless to bid a wren rin. 
It 's needless to pour water on a drowned mouse. 
It 's needless to mak twa bites o' a cherry. 
It 's ne'er ower late for repentance. 
It 's past joking when the head 's aff. 
It 's a gude game that fills the wame. 


It 's a sair time when the mouse looks out o' the meal 

barrel wi' the tear in its ee. 
It 's kittle wark for the cheeks when a hud'harrow gaes 

ower the brig o' the nose. 
It 's ill your kytes common. 
It 's ower late to jouk when the head 's aff. 
It 's a sour reek when the gudewife dings the gudeman. 
It 's weel your faults are no written on your forehead. 
It 's a tight tree that has neither gnarl nor gaw. 
It 's clean about the wren's door when there 's nought 


It 's no tint that comes at last. 
It 's gude to hae your cog out when it rains kail. 
It's a careless parting between an auld mare and a 

crazy car. 

It 's a sooth dream that 's seen waking. 
It 's ill limping before cripples. 
It 's ill kitchen that keeps the bread awa. 
It 's ill taking corn frae geese. 
It 's ill to put a blythe face upon a black heart. 
It 's gude to begin weel, but better to end weel. 
It 's ower late to cast the anchor when the ship 's on 

the rock. 

It 's ower late to lout when the head 's got a clout. 
It 's an ill warld that canna gie us a bite and a brat. 
It 's ill 'praising green barley. 
It 's God that feeds the craws, that neither tills, harrows, 

nor saws. 
It may be true what some men say, but it maun be true 

what a'body says. 


It would do a blind man gude to see 't. 

It would be a hard task to follow a black dockit sow 

through a burnt moor this night. 
I '11 do as the man did wha sold his land I '11 no do it 

I '11 no tell a lie for scant o' news. 

Keep your tongue a prisoner, and your body will gang 

Laitli to bed, laith to rise. 

Lang fasting gathers wind. 

Lang speaking, part maun spill. 

Lang lean raaks hamald cattle. 

Lang sick, soon weel. 

Lang or you cut Falkland Wood wi* a penknife. 

Langest at the fire soonest finds cauld. 

Lacking breeds laziness, but praise breeds pith. 

Let alane maks a loon. 

Let alane maks mony lurdanes. 

Lean liberty is better than fat slavery. 

Listen at a hole, and ye'll hear news o' yoursel. 

Little straiks fell muckle aiks. 

Little and often fills the purse. 

Little middling maks fair parting. 

Little wit in the head, maks muckle travel to the heel. 

Little wit in the head that lights the candle at the red. 

Little gear is soon spent. 

Likely lies aft in the mire, when unlikely gets through. 

Love of admiration, is the child of vanity. 


Mak a wrang step and ye'll fa' to the bottom. 
May he that turns the clod, ne'er want a bannock. 
'Mair pride than pith. 
Mair show than substance. 
Mocking is catching. 
Meddle wi' your match. 
Met and measure mak a' men wise. 
Man propones, but God dispones. 
Mettle is kittle in a blind horse. 
Mony ane speaks o' Robin Hood, that ne'er shot wi' 

his bow. 

Mony ane opens his pack, and sells nae wares. 
Mony ane would blush to hear, what they are no 

ashamed to do. 

Mony ane speirs the gate they ken fa' weel. 
Mony irons in the fire, some maun cool. 
Mony ways o' killing a dog without hanging him. 
Mony fair promises at the marriage-making, but few at 

the tocher paying. 

Mony ane blames their wife for their ain unthrift. 
Mony hands maks light wark. 
Mony say weel when it ne'er was waur. 
Mony words fill not the firlot. 
Mony words would hae muckle drink. 
Mony care for meal that hae broken bread aneragh. 
Mony ane maks an errand to the ha' to bid my lady 

gude day. 

Mony anes coat saves their doublet. 
Mony ane kens the gudefallow, that doesna ken the 

gudefallow's wife. 


Mony ane wytes their wife for their ain thoughtless life. 

Mony gudenights, laith awa. 

Men speak o' the fair as things went there. 

Muckle musing mars the memory. 

Muckle maun a gude heart thole. 

My tongue is no under your belt. 

Muckle gude may it do you, and merry go down, with 

every lump as big as my thumb. 
Muckle power maks mony enemies. 
Muckle skaith comes to the shoe before the heat comes 

to the tae. 
Muckle pleasure some pain. 

Nae man likes fetters, though they be forged in gowd. 

Nae force against the flail. 

Nae cows, nae care. 

Nae man is wise at a' times, nor wise on a' things. 

Nae mills, nae meal. 

Naething enters into a close neive. 

Nae siller, nae service. 

Nae fleeing without wings. 

Nature passeth nurture. 

Naething sooner maks a man look auld, than sitting ill 

to his meat. 

Naething is ill said, if it 's no ill taen. 
Naething dries sae fast as a woman's tears. 
Nane can play the fool sae weel as a wise man. 
Need maks virtue. 
Never venture, never win. 
New lairds hae new laws. 


Night is the mither o' thoughts. 
Now-a-days truth is news. 

O' little meddling comes muckle care. 

O' 'busing comes using. 

O' a' trades, the poet is fondest o' his wark. 

Our first breath is the beginning o' death. 

Opportunities mak a thief. 

Ower narrow counting culyies nae kindness. 

Pay before hand was ne'er weel sair'd. 

Patch and lang sit, build apd soon flit. 

Paterson's mare aye gaes foremost. 

Practice maks perfectness. 

Pearls are nae paste. 

Put the poor man's penny and the rich man's penny in 

ae purse, and they '11 draw thegither. 
Put the poor man's penny and the rich man's penny in 

ae purse, and they '11 come out alike. 
Plenty is nae plague. 
Poorly sits, richly warms. 
Play carl wi' me again, if you dare. 

Quick returns rnak rich merchants. 

Quho so biggeth his hous all of swallowis, 
And pricketh a blind hors ower the fallowis, 
And suffereth his wife to seek hallowis, 
Is wordie to be hanget on the gallowis. 

Reek follows the fairest, bear witness to the crook. 


Right wrangs iiae man. 
Rome wasna built in ae day. 
Rot him awa wi' butter and eggs. 
Right mixture maks gude mortar. 
Right, Rab : swine are gude mutton. 

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. 

Sair cravers are aye ill payers. 

Saw you that, and shotna at it, and you sae gleg a 

Saying gangs cheap. 

Say weel and do weel, end wi' ae letter : 

Say weel is gude, but do weel is better. 
Say aye No, and ye '11 ne'er be married. 
Sail, quo' the king: baud, quo' the wind. 
Second thoughts are best. 
Seek your sa' (salve), whare you got your sair. 
Seek your sa' whare you got your ail, and buy your 

barm whare you buy your ale. 

Seek muckle and get something, 
Seek little and get naething. 
Seek till you find, and ye '11 no lose your labour. 
Seldom ride, tines his spurs. 

Set a stool in the sun, as ae rogue rises anither sits down. 
Scant o' cheeks maks a lang nose. 
Scant o' grace hears lang preachings. 
Scarting and nipping is Scotch folks' wooing. 
Scotchmen are aye wise ahint the hand. 
Scotchmen aye reckon frae an ill hour. 
Scotchmen aye tak their mark frae mischief. 


Safe, is the word. 

Shallow waters mak maist din. 

Sairy be your meal-pock, and aye your neive in the 

neuk o't. 

Sae mony countries, sae mony customs. 
Sairy man, and then he grat. 
Send your gentle blood to the market, and see what it 

will buy. 

Sharp sauce gies a gude taste to sweetmeats. 
Show me the guest that the house is the waur o'. 
Show me the man, and I '11 show you the -law. 
Shod in the cradle and barefit in the stable. 
She that taks a gift, hersel she sells ; 
And she that gies them, does naething else. 
Smooth waters run deepest. 
Slow fires mak sweet meat. 

Soon enough to cry Chuck ! when its out o' the shell. 
Soon ripe, soon rotten. 
Soon het, soon cauld. 

Sober, neighbour, the night 's but young yet. 
Sorrow shake you out o' the wabster's handiwark. 
Sorrow be on the hands that held sae weel to your head. 
Souters shouldna be sailors, wha can neither steer nor 


Speech is the midwife o' the mind. 
Spit on 't, and ca 't thegither wi' a stane. 
Spit on a stane and it will weet at last. 
Strike as you feed, and that 's but soberly. 
Sticking gangs not by strength, but by the right use o' 

the gully. 


Stown dunts are sweetest. 

Stuffing bauds out the storm. 

Shame fa' the couple, quo' the cow to her feet. 

She 's an auld wife that wats her ain weird. 

Sodgers, fire, and water, soon mak room for themsels. 

Souters and tailors work by the hour. 

Spit in your loof, and had fast. 

Stay and drink your browst. 

Tak part o' the pelf when the pack is a-dealing. 

Tak your will, you 're wise enough. 

Tak you 're will o't, as the cat did o' the haggis. 

That 's the best gown that gaes up and down the house. 

The bird maun flichter that has but ae wing. 

The banes bear the beef hame. 

The best is aye the cheapest. 

The better day, the better deed. 

The blind man's peck should be weel measured. 

The book o' numbers is very braid. 

The cow may die ere the grass grow. 

The cow may want her tail yet. 

The counterfeit cunzie shows mair gilding than gude. 

The cure may be waur than the disease. 

The deil's journeyman ne'er wants wark. 

The dirty dame may fa' in the dirt. 

The day has een, the night has lugs. 

The farer in the deeper. 

The farer ben the welcomer (Highland hospitality.) 

The flesh is aye fairest that 's farest frae the bane. 

The feathers carried awa the flesh. 


The ass that 's no used to the sunks, bites his crupper. 

The biggest horse is no aye the best traveller. 

The cat kens whase lips she licks. 

The father buys, the son biggs, the oye sells, and his 
son thiggs. 

The first thing that a bare gentleman asks in the morn- 
ing is a needle and a thread. 

The gude dog getsna aye the gude bane. 

The horse shoe that clatters wants a nail. 

The higher you climb, the greater the fa. 

The langest day will hae an end. 

The kirk is muckle, but you may say mass in the end 

The man may eithly tine a stot that canna count his kine. 

The mither's breath is aye sweet. 

The muck midden is the mither o' the meal kist. 

The moudiewort feedsna on midges. 

The nobler the heart, the soupler the neck. 

The nearer e'en, the mae beggars. 

The nearer the bane, the sweeter the flesh. 

The nearer the rock, the sweeter the grass. 

The piper wants muckle that wants the nether chaft. 

The snail is as soon at its rest as the swallow. 

The tree doesna fa' at the first stroke. 

The tod ne'er speeds better than when he gangs his ain 

The simple man 's the beggar's brither. 

The stout horse gets aye the hard wark. 

The shortest road is whare the company is gude. 

The rat that has but ae hole is soon catch'd. 


The kirk is aye greedy. 

The still sow eats up the draff. 

The smith's mare, and the souter's wife, are aye warst 


The sun is nae waur for shining on the midden. 
The thing that liesna in your gate, breaksna your shins. 
The thing that 's in your wame, is no in your testament. 
The warst warld ever was, some man wan. 
The wolf may lose his teeth, but never his nature. 
There are three things in a' things. 
There are mair married than gude house hauders. 
There are mair knaves in my kin, than honest men in 


There are mair wark days than life days. 
There 's nae hair sae sma but has its shadow. 
There are nane sae weel shod but may slip. 
There are mair ways than ane o' keeping the craws 

frae the stack. 
There are mair knavery by sea and land, than a' the 

earth besides. 

There belangs mair to a ploughman than whistling. 
There belangs mair to a bed than four bare legs. 
There grows nae grass at the market-cross. 
There 's a great difference between fend and fare-weel. 
There ne'er came ill frae a gude advice. 
There 's muckle water rins by when the miller sleeps. 
There ne'er was a gude town but had a dub at the end 

There ne'er is a height but there is a ho we at the 

bottom o't. 


There ne'er was a fair word in flyting. 

There ne'er was a cake but had a make. 

There ne'er was a slut but (without) a slit. 

There was anither gotten the night that you was born. 

There was mair loss at the Shirramuir, whare the 

Highlandman lost his father and his mother, and a 

gude buff belt worth them baith. 
There 's a gude and a bad side in every thing : a' the 

art is to find it out. 
There 's a flae in my hose. 
There 's a dub at ilka door, and some doors twa. 
There 's a difference between the piper and his bitch. 
There 's a word in my wame, but it 's far down. 
There 's a time to gley, and a time to look even. 
There 's an end o' a lang story. 
There *s as gude fish in the sea as ever cam out o't. 
There 's little for the rake after the shool. 
There 's little sap in a dry pea-shaup. 
There 's mae ways to the wood than ane. 
There 's mae ways o' killing a dog besides hanging him. 
There 's nane sae busy as them that hae least to do. 
There 's nane deceived, but them wha trust. 
There 's nae hawk soars sae high but he will stoop to 

some lure. 

There 's ower mony nicks in your horn. 
There 's nae sun sae bright but clouds will owercast it. 
There 's nae woo sae course but it will tak some colour. 
There 's nae birds this year in the last year's nest. 
There 's nae iron sae hard but rust will fret it : 
There 's nae claith sae fine but moths will eat it. 


There 's iiane sae blind as them that winna see. 
There 's nane sae deaf as them that winna hear. 
There 's nae braird like the midden braird. 
There 's ne'er a great feast but some fare ill. 
There 's nae sport whare there 's neither auld folk nor 

There 's naething comes out o' an oulie pig but an ill 

There 's twa things in my mind and that 's the last o' 


There 's twa enoughs, and ye hae gotten ane o' them. 
There 's reason in the roasting o' eggs. 
There 's mair knavery amang kinsmen, than honesty 

amang courtiers. 

There 's mair room without than within. 
There 's naething sae like an honest man as an arrant 


They are sad rents that come in wi' tears. 
They are no to be named in the same day. 
They are lightly harried that hae a' their ain. 
They that live langest, fetch wood farest. 
They think a calf a muckle beast that never saw a cow. 
They ne'er saw a haggis wha think a puddin a feast. 
They that drink langest, live langest. 
They hae need o' a canny cook that hae but ae egg to 

their dinner. 
They that see you in daylight winna rin awa wi' you 

in the dark. 

They that see you in daylight, winna break the house 
for you at night. 


The trick the cowte gets when he 's hacking, while he 

lives will ne'er be lacking. 

They that stay in the howe, will ne'er mount the height. 
Tear ready, tail ready. 
To hain is to hae. 
Toom sta's make biting horses. 
Touch a ga'd horse and he '11 fling. 
Twa blacks winna mak a white. 
Twa heads are better than ane, if they were only sheep 

Twa heads are better than ane, as the wife said, when 

she and her dog gaed to the market. 
They 're no a' saints that get the name o't. 
They hae nae need o' a turnspit that hae only an egg to 

their dinner. 

They 're scarce o' horse flesh that rides on the dog. 
They need muckle that naething will content. 
To promise is ae thing, to keep it is anither. 
Tramp on a worm and it will turn. 
Tine cat, tine game. 

Want o' wit is waur than want o' gear. 

Watch harm, catch harm. 

Wha is ill to his ain is ill to himsel. 

What winna mak a pat may mak a pat lid. 

What we love heartily, we love smartly. 

When a' fruit fa's welcome haws. 

When the burn does not babble, its either ower toom 

or ower ru. 
Wise men are caught wi' wiles. 


Wide lugs and a short tongue are best. 

White legs would aye be rused. 

We can poind for debt, but no for kindness. 

Wha looks to freets, freets will follow. 

Wha never climbs, never fa's. 

Wanton kitlens mak douce cats. 

What is gotten ower the deil's back, is spent below his 


When ye 're gaun and coming, the gate 's no toom. 
WTien ane rises up, anither sits doun : that 's the way 

in this town. 

When the horse is at the gallop, the bridle 's ower late. 
When the barn 's fou, you may thrash at the door. 
When the heart 's past hope, the face is past shame. 
When the craw flies, her tail follows. 
When the wame 's fou, the banes would be at rest. 
When the tod gets to the wood, he caresna wha keeks 

at his tail. 

When my head 's down my house is theekit. 
Wishers and woulders are poor house holders. 
When the dike 's laighest, it 's easiest loupit. 
Whare there 's muckle courtesy, there 's little kindness. 
When ane winna, twa canna cast out. 
White siller *s wrought in black pitch. 
Whoredom and grace ne'er dwelt in ae place. 
We ken your eild by the runkles o' your horn. 
We canna baith sup and blaw. 
We may ken your meaning by your mumping. 
Weel begun is half done. 
Weel enough is soon enough. 


We '11 meet ere hills meet. 

Whare the dear 's slain, the bluid will lie. 

Work legs and win legs, bain legs and tine legs. 

Wrang has nae warrant. 

Work for naething maks folk dead-sweir. 

Woo sellers ken aye woo buyers. 

Ye 're buttoned up the back, like Achmahoy's dog. 
Ye 're ane o' the tender Gordons you downa be hang'd 

for gain your neck. 

Ye 're black about the mou for want o' kissing. 
Ye 're like me, and I'm like sma drink. 
Ye 're as sma as the twitter o' a twined rasch. 
Ye 're ower hard mou'd. 
Ye 're as white as a loan soup. 
Ye 're like the smith's dog, ye sleep at the sound o' the 

hammer, and waken at the crunching o' teeth. 
Ye 're mista'en o' the stuff it 's half silk. 
Ye 're a widdiefou gin hanging time. 
Ye canna sell the cow and sup the milk too. 
Ye would be a gude Borrowstoun sow ye scent weel. 
Ye wad gar me trew my head was cow'd, and I find 

the hair on 't. 

Ye winna put out the fire wi' tow. 
Ye may as weel eat the deil as sup the kail he 's boil'd in. 
Ye canna wash a black man white. 
Ye may gape lang ere a bird flee in your mouth. 
Ye hae sitten your time, as mony a gude hen has. 
Ye hae come in time for tineing a darg. 
Ye hae a sa' for a' sairs. 


Ye hae got baith the skaith and the scorn. 

Ye hae miss'd that, as you did your mither's blessing. 

Ye hae ower muckle loose leather about your chafts. 

Ye may tine the father seeking the son. 

Ye hae ower foul feet to come sae far ben. 

Ye gie gude counsel, but he 's a fool that taks 't. 

Ye was bred about the mill, ye hae mooped a* your 


Ye ca' hardest at the nail that drives fastest. 
Ye breed o' the chapman ye 're aye to hansel. 
Ye live beside ill neighbours. 
Ye may be greedy, but ye 're no greening. 
Ye needna lay thereout for want o' a nest egg. 
Ye needna blame God if the deil ding you ower. 
Ye may wash aff dirt, but no dun hide. 
Ye strive about uncoft gaits. 
Ye had aye a gude whittle at your belt. 
Ye '11 be hang'd, and I '11 be harried. 
Ye '11 gang a grey gate. 

Ye tak mair in your mouth than your cheeks will haud. 
Ye '11 ne'er get twa breads aff ae cake. 
Ye '11 get as muckle for ae wish this year, as for twa 


Ye '11 no let it be for want o' craving. 
Ye '11 ne'er rowte in my tether. 
Ye '11 gather nae gowd aff windlestraes. 
Ye '11 get nae mair o' a cat but the skin. 
Ye '11 get waur bodes ere Beltane. 
Ye '11 do little for God, if the deil was dead. 
Ye '11 kythe in your ain colours yet. 


Ye 've been lang on little yird. 

Ye Ve work'd a yokin and loosed in time. 

Ye 've ta'en 't on you, as the wife did the dancing. 

You shine like the sunny side o' a shairney wecht. 

You shine like a white gird about a shairney cog. 

You winna craw trade. 

You '11 aye ken a gude warkman by his chips. 

You '11 get better when you mend. 

Your head canna get up but your stamach follows. 

Yule is young on Yule even, 

And auld in St. Steven. 


A blate cat raaks a proud mouse. 

A bread house never skail'd. 

A beggar's wallet is a mile to tbe bottom. 

A cock 's aye crouse on his ain midden head. 

A cumbersome cur in company, is hated for his mis- 

A daft nurse maks a wise wean. 

A day to come seems langer than a year that 's gane. 

A dear ship lies lang in the harbour. 

A dog's life hunger and ease. 

A drink is shorter than a tale. 

A dapple grey horse will sooner die than tire. 

After words come weird : fair fa' them that ca's me 

A fair fire maks a room flit. 

A fat hen maks a lean cock. 

After meat, mustard. 

Aft counting keeps friends lang thegither. 

A fou heart never lied. 

A fop is the tailor's friend, and his ain foe. 

A fidging mare should be weel girded. 


A gaim fit is aye getting, if it were but a thorn. 

A gude fallow is a costly name. 

A gude fallow is ne'er tint but an ill ane is at hand. 

A great ruser was ne'er a gude rider. 

A gude ingle maks a roomy fireside. 

A green turf is a gude gudemither. 

A green wound is half heal. 

A hairy man 's a geary man, but a hairy wife 's a witch. 

A hantle cry murder ! and are aye upmost. 

A hardy man to draw a sword on a haggis. 

A hearty hand to gie a hungry mealtith. 

A house built, and a garden planted, never sold for 

what they cost. 

A horn spoon bauds nae poison. 
A boundless hunter, and a gunless gunner, aye see 

routh o' game. 

An egg 's a mouthfou o' meat, and a townfou o' shame. 
A kind look turneth awa anger. 
A lass is a lad's leavings. 
A laughing faced lad maks a lither servant. 
A lang gather'd dam soon rins out. 
Amang you be 't, priests' bairns ; I am but a priest's oye. 
A man o' mony trades, begs his bread on Sunday. 
A man is aye crouse in his ain cause. 
A man's mind is a meek mirror. 
A man, like a watch, is valued for his time. 
A mouthfou o' meat may be a townfou o' shame. 
A new tout on an auld horn. 
A nag wi' a wame, and a mare wi' nane. 
Ance paid, never craved. 


Ance provost, aye My Lord. 

Ance wud and aye waur. 

An ill cook should hae a gude cleaver. 

Ane does the skaith, and anither gets the scorn. 

Ance awa, and aye awa. 

A rich mouth foil, and heavy groans. 

A short grace is sweet for hungry folk. 

A wall between baith, best preserves friendship. 

As gude ne'er a bit, as ne'er the better. 

Amaist and very near, has aye been a great Her. 

Amaist was ne'er a man's life. 

A midge is as big as a mountain, amaist. 

An ill penny will cast down a pound. 

An inch o' a nag, is worth a span o' an aiver. 

An ill shearer never got a gude heuk. 

An olite mither maks a sweir dochter. 

An inch o' a miss is as gude as a span. 

Ane o' the court, but nane o' the council. 

Ane beats the bush, and anither grips the bird. 

Ane may bind a sack before it 's fou. 

Ane gets sma thanks for tineing his ain. 

An auld goat is no the mair reverend for his beard. 

Any thing for a quiet life. 

A party pot ne'er plays even. 

A pair o' heels is worth twa pair o' hands. 

A penny mair buys the whistle. 

A raggit cowte may mak a noble aiver. 

A thrawn question should hae a thrawn answer. 

A sca'd head is soon broken. 

As ye use your parents, sae will your children use you. 


As ye are strong, be merciful. 

As broken a ship has come to land. 

As lang as a dog would be bound wi' a bluid puddin. 

As lang runs the fox as he has feet. 

As weel be hang'd for a wether as a lamb. 

As gude a fallow as ever toom'd a bicker. 

As day brake, butter brake. 

Auld friends are sweir to part, quo' the auld mare to 

the broken cart. 
A' gowd or a' dirt. 
As sair fights the wren as the crane. 
As soon comes the lamb's skin to the market, as the 

auld sheep's. 

As tired as a tyke is o' langkail. 
As plain as the nose on your face. 
As wanton as a wet hen. 
As weight as a wabster's doublet, that ilka night taks 

a thief by the neck. 

As ye mak your bed, sae ye maun lie doun. 
As ye loe me, look in my dish. 
As fause as Waghorn, and he was nineteen times fauser 

than the deil. 

At open doors, dogs gae ben. 
Auld stots hae stiff horns. 
Auld sins breed new sairs. 
Auld springs gie nae price. 
Ae thing said, and anither thing seen. 
Ae ill word meets anither, if it were at the brig o' 

Ae hand winna wash the ither for naething. 


Ae scone o' a baking 's enough. 

A' his buz shakes nae corn. 

A' thing wytes, that nae weel fares. 

A' is fair at the ba'. 

A' the winning is in the first buying. 

A' the speed is in the spurs. 

A' cats are grey i' the dark. 

A' is but lip-wit, that wants experience. 

A safe conscience maks a sound sleep. 

A sturdy beggar should hae a stout naesayer. 

A sight o' you is gude for sair een. 

A spur in the head is worth twa in the heel. 

A short tree stands lang. 

A taking hand never wants. 

A thief is a hard master. 

A tarrowing bairn was never fat. 

A whang aff a new cut kebbuck is ne'er miss'd. 

A working mither maks a daw dochter. 

Ax the tapster if his ale be gude. 

Ax my fellow if I'm a thief. 

Bachelors' wives and maidens' bairns are aye weel 


Be still taking and tarrowing. 
Be it sae, is nae banning. 
Be either a man or a mouse. 
Be gaun, the gate 's before you. 
Be not a baker if your head be o' butter. 
Beds are best, quo' the man to his guest. 
Before the cat lick her lug. 


Before an ill wife be gude, if she was a' turned to the 


Beg frae beggars and ye '11 ne'er be rich. 
Beggars shoudna be choosers. 
Beggars breed and gentry feed. 
Beggars' brood are aye proud. 

Before the deil gaes blind, and he 's no blear ee'd yet. 
Better a mouse in the pat as nae flesh. 
Better a thigging mither than a riding father. 
Better a louse in the pat as nae kitchen. 
Better belly burst than gude meat spill. 
Better a spare at the braid than the bottom. 
Better baud by a hair than draw by a tether. 
Better out o' the warld than out o' the fashion. 
Better to live in hope than die in despair. 
Better saut than saur. 
Better to die begging than wi' a beggar. 
Better plays the fu' wame than the new coat. 
Better be sonsy than soon up. 
Better short and sweet than lang and lax. 
Better laugh at your ain pint than greet and gather 


Between you and the lang day be 't. 
Between the deil and the deep sea. 
Belyve is twa hours and a half. 
Biting and scarting is Scotch folks' wooing. 
Bid a man to a roast and stick him wi' the spit. 
Bide weel, betide weel. 
Birds o' a feather aye flock thegither. 
Black 's my apron, and I 'm aye washing 't. 


Boden gear stinks. 

Bode a robe and wear it, bode a pock and bear it. 

Bode a silk gown and ye'll get a sleeve o't. 

Bourdna wi' bawty, lest he bite you. 

Bonnet aside, how sell you your maut ? 

Boot, wha has better ? 

Borrow, as I did. 

Brag o' a fair day when night is come. 

Bread and cheese is gude to eat, 

When folk can get nae ither meat. 
Break my head and then draw on my how. 
Bridal feasts are soon forgotten. 
Bridal feuds are soon forgotten. 
By chance a cripple may catch a hare. 

Ca' canny, and ye '11 break nae graith. 

Ca' canny and flee laigh. 

Ca' me cousin, but cozen me not. 

Ca' again, you 're no a ghaist. 

Ca' me and I'll ca' thee. 

Cadgers are aye cracking o' lade-saddles. 

Cadgers are aye cracking o' creels. 

Caff and draff is gude aneugh for aivers. 

Carry my lady to Rome, and gie her a hitch, and a' is 


Carena would hae mair. 

Cast a cat ower the house and she '11 fa' on her feet. 
Cast a bane in the deil's teeth. 
Cast nae snawba's wi' him. 
Cats and carlins sit in the sun. 


Cast the cat ower him. 

Cat after kind. 

Cauld kail het again is aye pat tasted. 

Cauld water scalds daws. 

Changing o' words is a lightening o' hearts. 

Changes are lightsome. 

Claw me and I '11 claw thee. 

Clatter a cat to death. 

Clawing and eating needs but a beginning. 

Clean pith and fair play. 

Cocks are aye gude will'd o' horses' com. 

Come back the morn and ye '11 get pies for naething. 

Come a' to Jock Fool's house, and ye '11 get bread and 


Come not to the council unbidden. 
Come unca'd sits unsair'd. 
Come day, go day, God send Sunday. 
Corn 's no gude for staigs. 
Corn him weel, he '11 work the better. 
Corbies and clergy are kittle shot. 
Corbies dinna pick out corbies' een. 
Confess debt and crave time. 
Confess and be hang'd. 
Condition maks, condition breaks. 
Corduroy maks a poor turn. 
Count again is no forbidden. 
Courtesy is cumbersome to them that kens it not. 
Courage against misfortune and reason against passion. 
Cripples are aye better schemers than walkers. 
Crooket carlin, quo' the cripple to his wife. 


Crabs breed crabs, wi' the help o' gude lads. 
Curses mak the tod fat. 

Dame, deem warily, ye watna wha wytes yoursel. 

Daffin and want o' wit, maks auld wives donnart. 

Dear bought and far sought, is meat for ladies. 

Deil speed them that speirs, and kens sae weel. 

Deil be in the pock that ye cam in. 

Deil be in the house that ye're beguiled in. 

Deil mene ye if your leg were broken. 

Dicht your sair een wi' your elbow. 

Dead at the ae door, and herschip at the tither. 

Did you ere square accounts wi' him ? 

Ding down the nests, and the craws will flee awa. 

Dit your mouth wi' your meat. 

Dinna lift me before I fa'. 

Do as the lasses do say No, but tak it. 

Do what ye ought, and come what can : 

Think o' ease, but work on. 
Dochters and dead fish are ill keeping wares. 
Doctors pay nae debts. 
Double charges rive cannons. 
Down wi' the lid, quo' Willie Reid. 
Dows and dominies aye leave a foul house. 
Dogs that bark at a distance ne'er bite at hand. 
Dawted dochters mak dawly wives. 
Draff is gude aneugh for swine. 
Dummie winna lie. 

Early pricks will be thorns. 


Ease and honour are seldom bedfellows. 

Eagles catch nae flies. 

Either live or die wi' honour. 

Eith keeping the castle that 's 110 besieged. 

Either the tod or a fern bush. 

Enough is as gude as a feast. 

Even as you win 't, sae may you wear 't. 

Every ane for himsel, and God for us a'. 

Every man for his ain hand, as Harry Wynd, the smith, 


Every dog has his day. 
Every ane loups the dike at the laighest. 
Every ane bows to the bush that beilds him. 
Every ane has his ain draff pock, though some hang 

sider than ithers. 
Every ane to his ain trade, quo' the brewster to the 


Every dream o' delight has a pound o' spite. 
Every inch o' joy has an ell o' annoy added to it. 
Every day is no Yule day : cast the cat a custock. 
Every season has its reason. 
Every man's tale is gude till anither 's tauld. 
Every man 's blind in his ain cause. 
Every man wears his belt his ain gate. 
Every play maun be played, and some maun play it. 
Every thing has an end, and a puddin has twa. 
Every thing has its time, and sae has the rippling- 


Ever spare, ever bare. 
Every sow to her ain trough. 


Every thing would fain live. 
Every dud bids anither gude day. 

Fa' on the fayest, the beetle amang the bairns. 

Fair fa' gude drink, it gars us speak as we think. 
Fair fa' the wife, and weel may she spin, 
That counts aye the la win wi' a pint to come in. 

Fair folk are aye fusionless. 

Fair words butter nae parsnips. 

Fair exchange is nae robbery. 

Fair folk are aye whitely. 

Fair gae they, fair come they, and aye their heels 

Fair offers are nae cause o' feud. 

Fair maidens wear nae purses. 

Fairest flowers soonest fade. 

Fancy kills, and fancy cures. 

Fancy flies before the wind. 

Far free court, far frae care. 

Far behind maun follow the faster. 

Far awa fowls hae aye fair feathers. 

Farest frae the kirk, aye soonest at it. 

Farmers' faugh, gars lairds laugh. 

Fast bind, fast find. 

Fat paunches hae aye lean pows. 

Fat hens are aye ill layers. 

Fair fa' you, and that 's nae fleeching. 

Fair words winna mak the pat boil. 

Feckless fools should keep canny tongues. 

Feeling has nae fellow. 


Feckless folk are fond o' ane anither. 

Feeding out o' course, maks mettle out o' kind. 

Feather by feather, the goose is pluck'd. 

Feed a cauld, and hunger a colic. 

Fell a dog wi' a bane and he '11 no youl. 

Fiddlers' wives and gamester's drink are free to ilka 


Fiddlers' dogs and flesh flies, come to feasts unca'd. 
Fight dog, fight bear ; wha wins, deil care. 
Fill fou and haud fou, maks the stark man. 
Fine to fine maks a bad line. 
Fire maks an auld wife nimble. 
Fire and water are gude servants but ill masters. 
First come, first sair'd. 
Fish maun soom thrice. 
Flitting o' farms maks mailings dear. , 
Fleying a bird is no the way to catch \. 
Foul water will slocken fire. 
Fou o' courtesy, fou o' craft. 
Folks' dogs bark waur than themselves. 
Folk canna help a' their kin. 
For fashion's sake, as the dogs gang to the market. 
For as gude again, like Sunday milk. 
Fling at the brod, was ne'er a gude ox. 
Foul fa' nought, and then he '11 get naething. 
Folk watna whiles whither they run fast or gang at 


Fools aye see ither folks' fauts, and forget their ain. 
For a tint thing, carena. 
For gude cheese and gude cheer, mony haunt the house. 


For better acquaintance, as Sir John Ramsay drank to 

his father. 

Force without foresight. 
Forced prayers are no gude for the soul. 
Forewarned, half armed. 

Fresh fish and poor friends, soon grow ill saired. 
Friday flit, short time sit. 

Fry stanes wi' butter, and the broo will be gude. 
Frae the teeth forward. 

Gane is the goose that laid the muckle eggi 
Gaunting bodes wanting ane o' things three sleep, 

meat, or gude companie. 
Gaunting bodes wanting ane o' things three sleep, 

meat, or making o'. 
Gaunting gaes frae man to man. 
Gar wood is ill to grow, chuckie stanes are ill to chew. 
Gaylie would be better. 
Gentle servants are rich men's tinsel. 
Gentle servants are poor men's hardships. 
Gentlemen are unco scant, when a wabster gets a 


Gie your ain fish guts to your ain sea-maws. 
Gie it about, it will come to my father at last. 
Gie is a gude fallow, but he soon wearies. 
Gie ower while the play is gude. 
Gie my cousin kail enow, 
And see my cousin's dish be fou. 
Gie her her will or she '11 burst, quo' the man, when his 

wife kamed his head wi' the three-footed stool. 


Gie a strong thief a slack name. 

Gie a dog an ill name and he '11 soon be hang'd. 

Gie a gaun man a drink and a rising man a knock. 

Gie him an inch and he '11 tak an ell. 

Gie him a hole and he '11 find a pin. 

Gie him time aneugh and he '11 hang himsel. 

Gie a carl your finger and he '11 tak your hale hand. 

Gie a greedy dog a muckle bane. 

Gie a thing, tak a thing, and that 's the ill man's ring. 

Gie you the deil in a pock and he '11 no bite you. 

Gie you meat, drink, and claes, and ye '11 beg amang 

your friends. 

Gie losing gamesters leave to talk. 
Gibbie's grace deil claw the clungest. 
Giff gaff maks gude friends. 
Girn when you tie, and laugh when you loose. 
Gude to thee, gude to me. 
Gude ale is half meat. 
Gude folk are scarce, tak care o' ane. 
Gude ale warms the heart o' man, but whisky maks 

them quarrel. 
Gude be wi' auld laog syne, when our gutchers eat 

their trenchers. 
Gude ale needs nae wisp. 

Gude cheer and cheap, gars mony haunt the house. 
Gude-aneugh has got a wife, and Far-better wants. 
Gude I your common to kiss your kimmer. 
Gude wit jumps. 
Gude bairns are eith to lear. 
Gude to fetch sorrow to a sick wife. 


Gude reason and part cause. 

God sain (bless) your ee, man. 

God keep the cat out o' our gate, for the hens can flee. 

God help you to a hutch, for ye '11 ne'er get a mailing. 

Great winning maks wark easy. 

Great barkers are nae biters. 

Graceless meat grows weel. 

Guess'd wark is best, if right done. 

Gulp 1 quo' the wife, when she swallowed her tongue. 

Gunpowder is hasty eldin. 

Grey ee'd greedy, brown ee'd needy, black ee'd never 

blin', till he shame a' his kin. 
Graceless meat maks folk fat. 
Grudge not anither what you canna get yoursel. 
Gree like tykes and swine. 

Had you sic a shoe on ilka foot, it would gar you 


Ha' binks are sliddrey. 
Hae, gars a deaf man hear. 

Hae a place for ilka thing, and ilka thing in its place. 
Had I wist, quo' the fool, or beware of Had I wist. 
Handle your tools without mittens. 
Hand in use, is father o' lear. 
Hang them that has nae shift, and hang them that has 

ower mony. 

Hang hunger, and drown drouth. 
Hanging is nae better than it's ca'd. 
Hang a thief when he 's young, and he '11 no steal 

when he 's auld. 


Happy go lucky. 

Happy man be his dool. 

Happy man, happy kevel. 

Hair and hair maks the carl's head bare. 

Happy is the bride that the sun shines on ; 
Happy is the corpse that the rain rains on. 
Hardships seldom come single. 
Hearken to the hinderend, after comes not yet. 
Haud your hand, your father slew a whaup. 
Half acres bear aye gude corn. 
Heard ye the crack that that gae. 
He 's cooling and supping. 
He blaws in her lug fu' brawly. 
He can do ill, and he may do gude. 
He breaks my head and then puts on my how. 
He begs frae them that borrowed frae him. 
He brings a staff to break his ain head. 
He comes to gude by misguiding. 
He comes o' gude, he canna be ill. 
He daurna say Bo, to your blanket. 
He doesna like his wark that says Now, when it's 


He could eat me but salt. 
He fells twa dogs wi' ae stane. 
He gies nae ither milk. 
He gangs far about seeking the nearest. 
He has 't o' kind, he coft it not. 
He had a finger in the pie. 
He has the impudence o' a miller's horse. 
He has swallowed a flee. 


He has mair floor than he has flail for. 

He has a bee in his bonnet. 

He has got a bite o' his am bridle. 

He has a sliddrey grip that has an eel by the tail. 

He has feathered his nest, he may flee when he likes. 

He has broken his face on the ambry. 

Hech ! quo* Howie, when he swallowed the wife's clue. 

He got his mither's malison the day he was married. 

He gies me whitings without banes. 

He gangs lang barefit that wears dead men's shoon. 

He gangs awa in an ill time that ne'er comes back again. 

He girns like a sheep's-head in a pair o' tangs. 

He gets his kail in a riven dish. 

He has drowned the miller. 

He has got out o' the cheswell he was made in. 

He has gane without taking his leave. 

He has left the key in the cat-hole. 

He has left the key beneath the door. 

He has made a moonlight flittin. 

He has the best end o' the string. 

He has naething to crave at my hand. 

He has an ee in his neck. 

He had gude skill o' horse flesh, wha bought a goose 

to ride on. 

He kensna a B frae a bull's foot. 
He kens his ain groats amang ither folks' kail. 
He kens on wbilk side his bannock 's buttered. 
He kens how mony beans mak five. 
He lay in his scabbard, as mony gude sword 's done. 
He lo'ed mutton weel that Ticket whare the ewe lay. 


He ne'er tint a cow that grat for a needle. 

He niffers for the better. 

He ne'er said an ill word, nor did a gude thing. 

He needs maun rin wha the deil drives. 

He plaints early wha plaints o' his meat. 

He left his siller in his ither breeks. 

He may weel swim wha has his head haden up. 

He maun be a gude friend when you dinna ken his 


He 's a silly man that can neither do gude nor ill. 
He 's a poor beggar that canna gang by ae door. 
He 's as hard wi' me as I had been the wild Scot o' 


He 's but Jock, the laird's brither. 
He 's awin me a day's shearing, the langest o' hairst. 
He 's like a singet cat better than he 's bonny. 
He has an ill look amang lambs. 
He hasna a bauchel to swear by. 
He has hit the nail on the head. 
He has skill o' roasted woo, when it stinks its ready. 
He has coosten his cloak on his tither shouther. 
He has coupet the muckle pat wi' the little ane. 
He has muckle prayer, but little devotion. 
He hears wi' his heels as the geese do in hairst. 
He has help 'd me out o' a dead lift. 
He likes nae beef that grows on my banes. 
He loes me for little that hates me for nought. 
He owes a pudding to the gled. 
He is an auld horse that will neither neicher nor wag 

his tail. 


He is like the Kilkenny cat he has left naething behind 

him hut his tail. 

He is a causey saint and a house deil. 
He is John Thamson's man, laugh carl. 
He 's auld and cauld and ill to lie aside. 
He 's a sary cook that canna lick his am fingers. 
He 's an Aberdeen man, he '11 tak his word again. 
He 's as stiff as he had swallowed the poker. 
He 's blind that eats marrow, but far blinder that lets 


He 's like a cow in an unco loan. 
He 's gane aff at the nail. 
He 's gane to seek his father's sword. 
He's like the wife's bawty kens naething o* the matter. 
He 's no steel to the bane. 
He 's loose in the heft. 
He 's poor that canna promise. 
He may find a fault that canna mend it. 
He spoke to me as every word would lift a dish. 
He 's no aye the best wright that hews the maist spales. 
He 's no steel in the back sprent. 
He 's no the clean potatoe. 
He 's no sae daft as he lets on. 
He 's out and in, like a dog at the fair. 
He 's soon done that ne'er d ought. 
He 's ower shot wi' his ain bow. 
He 's the gear that winna traik. 
He 's the bee that maks the honey. 
He 's the best spoke o' your wheel. 
He 's the best player that wins. 


He sees an inch before his nose. 

He shall either grin, or maun fin'. 

He should hae a hale pow, that ca's his neighbour Nity- 

He sits wi' little ease, wha sits on his neighbour's coat 


He speaks like a prent beuk. 
He stumbles at a strae and loups ower a wonlyne. 
He stumbles at a strae, and loups ower a brae. 
He streaks ream in my teeth. 
He caresna whase bairns greet, if his laugh. 
He puts his meat in an ill skin. 
He that puts the cat in the pock, kens best how to 

tak her out. 

He that invented the maiden, first hansel'd her. 
He that counts a' the price o' his plough, will never 

yoke her. 

He that speirs a' opinions, comes ill speed. 
He that ance gets his fingers i' the dirt, can hardly get 

them out again. 
He that has his hand in the lion's mouth, maun tak it 

out the best way he can. 

He that marries a beggar gets a louse for his tocher. 
He that has a wide theim (guts), ne'er had a lang arm. 
He that wants to strike a dog, ne'er wants a stick. 
He that aught the mare, aught the bear. 
He that cracks without sense, should mean without 

He that marries a widow and twa dochters, has three 

back doors to his house. 


He that puts on the public gown, maun put aff the 

private person. 

He that thinks in his bed, has a day without a night. 
He that plants trees, loes ithers beside himsel. 
He that seeks trouble, seldom misses it. 
He that 's mann'd wi' boys, and hors'd wi' colts, will 

hae his meat eaten, and his wark undone 
He that repents a gude act, turns gude into ill. 
He that eats a boll o' meal in bannocks, eats a peck o' 


He that shames let him be shent. 
He that bids me to meat, wishes me to live. 
He that has a gude cramp, may thole many thistles. 
He that blaws best, bears awa the horn. 
He that sits upon a stane is twice fain. 
He that 's ill to himsel, will be gude to naebody. 
He that speirs, aye gets a part. 

He that has a muckle nose, thinks ilka ane looks at it. 
He that has muckle, aye gets mair. 
He that gets, forgets ; he that wants, thinks on. 
He that gies a wad, gies naething. 
He that ill bodes, ill betides. 
He that has little is the less dirty. 
He that laughs at his ain jokes, spoils the sport o' them. 
He that winna when he may, shanna when he would. 
He that would eat the kernel, maun crack the nut- 
He that would climb the tree, maun take care o' his grip. 
He that fishes before the net, lang ere he fish get. 
He that gaes saftly, gaes safely. 
He that 's ill o' his harboury, is gude at the way-kenning. 


He that has a dog o' his ain, may gang to the kirk wi' 

a clean breast. 

He that lacks my mare, may buy my mare. 
He that would climb the ladder, maun begin at the 

first step. 

He that comes first to the ha', may sit wbare he will. 
He that counts a' cost, will never put a plough in the 

He that has horns in his bosom, need not put them on 

his head. 

He that 's crabbit without a cause, should mease with- 
out amends. 

He that laughs alane, will mak sport in company. 
He that teaches himsel, has a fool for his master. 
He that pleads his ain cause, has a fool for his client. 
He that lends his pat, may sythe his kail in his loof. 
He that stumbles twice at ae stane, 
Deserves to break his shin-bane. 
He that isna handsome at twenty, strong at thirty, 

wise at forty, rich at fifty, will never be handsome, 

strong, wise, nor rich. 
He only is bright, who shines by himsel. 
He '11 get the poor man's answer a denial. 
He wasna the inventor o' gunpowder. 
Help you to a hotch, for ye '11 ne'er get a coach : ne'er 

was ye born to get a sound ride. 
Het kail cauld, nine nights auld, spell ye that in four 

Het kail cauld, nine nights auld, warmed in a pan, 

spell me that in four letters if you can. 


He '11 shoot higher that shoots at the moon, than he 
that shoots atthe midden, although he miss his mark. 

He '11 mend when he grows better, like the sour ale in 

He '11 ne'er send you awa wi' a sair heart. 

He would fain be forward, if he wist how. 

He would gar you trew the moon was made o' green 

He would tine his lug, if it werena tackit till him. 

He watsna whilk end o* him is upmost. 

His bark is waur than his bite. 

His horn 's deaf on that side. 

His wind shakes nae corn. 

His eggs hae a' twa yolks. 

His meal is a' daigh. 

His purse and his pallet are ill met. 

Hout your dogs, and bark yoursel. 

Horns and grey hair, dinna aye come o' years. 

How come you and me to be so great. 

How by yoursel, burnt be the mark. 

Here 's the gear, but whare 's the siller. 

Hungry stewards wear mony shoon. 

I carena whither the tod worry the goose, or the goose 

worry the tod. 
I baud blench aff him. 

I deny that wi' baith my hands and a' my teeth. 
I had but little butter, and I cast it on the coals. 
I hae taen the sheaf frae the mare. 
I hae muckle to do, and few to do for me. 


I hope you 're nae waur o' your early rising. 

I would rather my bannock burn, than that you should 

turn 't. 
I wish you may hae as muckle Scotch as take you to 

your bed. 

I would hae something to look at on Sunday. 
I would hae my ee fou. 
I wat weel how the warld wags. 
I prick'd nae louse since I soled your hose, and then I 

might hae prick'd a thousand. 
I ne'er heard it waur tauld. 
I ne'er liked meat that craw'd in my crap. 
I think mair o' the kindness than it 's a' worth. 
I think you hae taen the gumple-face. 
I 'm flyting free wi' you. 

I hae seen as fou a haggis toom'd on the midden. 
I hae ither tow on my roke. 
I hae mair to do than a dish to wash. 
I hae gotten an ill kame for my ain hair. 
I hae baith my meat and my mense. 
I hae ither fish to fry. 
I hae seen mair than I hae eaten, else you wadna hae 

been there. 

I hae a gude sword, but it 's in the castle. 
I hate a' 'bout gates, quo' the wife, when she hauiTd her 

man through the ingle. 
I think mair o' the sight than the ferlie. 
I would rather be your Bible than your horse. 
I wadna hae your kekling for a' your eggs. 
I wadna fother you for a your muck. 



I would as soon see your nose cheese, and the cat the 

first bite o't. 
I will keep my mind to mysel, and tell my tale to the 


I wish you were laird o' your word. 
I wish you may lamb in your lair, as mony gude ewe 

has done. 

I wish I had a string in his lug. 
I wish you had brose to lay the hair o' your beard. 
I wish it may be the first sight you see. 
I ne'er lik'd water in my shoon, and my wame is made 

o' better leather. 
I maun do as the beggars do ; when my wame 's fou, 

gang awa. 
I may put a' I got frae him in my ee, and see nane the 

waur o't. 

I ne'er liked a dry bargain. 
If a louse missed its foot on his coat, it would break 

its neck. 

If this be a feast, you hae been at mony. 
If wishes were horses, beggars wad ride, and a' the 

warld be drowned in pride. 
If I come I maun bring my stool wi' me. 
If I canna keep my tongue I can keep my siller. 
If I had a dog as daft I would shoot him. 
If she was my wife I would mak a queen o' her. 
If you laugh at your ain sport, the company will laugh 

at you. 
If you dinna haud him he '11 do 't a'. 


If you would live for ever, wash the milk frae your liver. 

If you had stuck a knife in my heart, it wadna hae bled. 

If we hae not the warld's wealth, we hae the warld's ease. 

Ill herds mak fat wolves. 

Ill flesh ne'er made gude broo. 

1 11 tell the bourd, but not the body. 

I '11 sair you a' wi' the same met. 

I '11 do as the cow o' Forfar did tak a standing drink. 

1 11 ne'er brew drink to treat drinkers. 

If ane winna anither will, the morn 's the market day. 

If ere you mak a lucky puddin, I '11 eat the prick. 

If ony body speir at you, say you watna. 

If it winna be a gude shoe, we '11 mak a bauchel o't. 

If it winna sell, it winna sour. 

If it be a faut, its nae ferlie. 

If I canna do it by might, I can do it by slight. 

If I canna keep geese, I can keep gaislins. 

If Ifs and Ands were pats and pans, what would 

tinklers do. 

If straiks be gude to gie they '11 be gude to tak. 
If it be ill, its as ill rused. 
If you like the nut, crack it. 

If you dinna steal my kail, break not down my dike. 
If you dinna like what I gie you, tak what you brought 

wi' you. 

If you dinna do ill, dinna do ill like. 
If you spend muckle, put mair on the fire. 
If you winna come you'll bide, as Roy said to his 

If you be angry, claw your wame. 


If you be angry, sit laigh and mease you. 
I '11 big nae sandy mills wi' you. 
I '11 learn you to lick, for supping is dear. 
I '11 say naething but I '11 yerk at the thinking. 
I '11 gie you a sark fou o' sair banes. 
I '11 get a better fore-speaker than you for nought. 
I '11 no buy a pig in a pock. 
I '11 mak the mantle meet for the man. 
I '11 draw the belt nearer your ribs. 
Ill to tak and eith to live. 
I '11 gar his ain gartens bind up his ain hose. 
I 'm gaun the errand ye canna gang for me. 
It 's better to sup wi' a cutty than want a spoon. 
I '11 mak a rope o' draff haud you. 
I '11 ne'er cast me aff before I gang to lie. 
Ireland will be your hinderend. 
It 's a gude warld, if it haud. 
It 's a gude warld, but they 're ill that 's in 't. 
It 's a gude sight for a blind man to see. 
It 's gude to nip the brier in the bud. 
It 's gude to be out o' harm's way. 
It 's a hard task to be poor and leal. 
It 's drink will you, but no drink shall you. 
It 's a pity fair weather should ever do harm. 
It 's a braw thing to be honest. 
It 's gane I loed you for. 

It 's ill middling between the bark and the rind. 
It 's ill to please a' parties. 

It 's the poor man's office to look, and the rich man 
canna forbear. 


It 's just as it fa's, said the wooer to the maid. 

I '11 be daddie's bairn and minnie's bairn. 

I '11 gie you a bane to pick that winna stick in your 


I '11 put dare ahint the door, and do't. 
I '11 gie you let-a-bee for let-a-bee, like the bairns o' 


It 's a saiy wood that hath ne'er a withered branch in it. 
In youth and strength, think of age and weakness. 
It 's a far cry to Loch-How. 
It 's a sary collop that 's ta'en aff a chicken. 
It 's gude to hae your cog out when it rains kail. 
It 's gude mows that fill the wame. 
It 's far to seek, and ill to find, like Meg's maidenhead. 
It 's fair before the wren's door when there 's naething 


It 's by the head, that the cow gies the milk. 
It 's like Truffy's courtship short but pithy. 
It 's like Pathhead lit soon on, soon aff. 
It's little o' God's might that maks a poor man a 


It 's lang to Lammas. 

It 's ill to put a blythe face on a black heart. 
It 's ill baith to pay and pray. 
It 's ill to tak the breeks aff a Highlandman. 
It 's muckle gars tailors laugh, but souters girn aye. 
It 's merry in the ha' when beards wag a'. 
It 's mair by chance than gude guiding. 
It 's time to rise if it be clean aneath you. 
It 's time to cry, Oh, when ye 're hurt. 


It gangs as muckle into my heart as my heel. 

It will come out yet, like the holm corn. 

It will mak a braw show in a landward kirk. 

It shall ne'er ride, and I gang. 

It 's neither a far road nor foul gate. 

It 's no in your breeks. 

It 's nae shift to want. 

It 's ower far between the kitchen and the ha'. 

It 's ower now, quo' the wife, when she swallow'd her 


It 's short while since the sow bore the lingel. 
It 's the best feather in your wing. 
It 's time enough to mak my bed when I 'm gaun to 

lie down. 

It 's time enough to screech when your struck. 
It 's weel said ; but wha '11 bell the cat ? 
It will come in an hour, that winna come in a year. 
It will be the last word in your testament. 
It will be a feather in your cap. 
It will be a het day gars you startle. 
It will be an ill web to bleach. 
It were a pity to refuse you, you seek so little. 
It were a pity to put a foul hand on 't. 
It sets a sow to wear a saddle. 
It sets you weel to gab wi' your bonnet on. 
It sets a haggis to be roasted. 
It sets you not to speak o' him till you wash your 

mouth wi' wine, and dry it wi' a lawn towel. 
It 's worth a' you offer'd for 't. 
It 's an ill turn that patience winna owercome. 


Just enough, and nae mair, like Janet Howie's shearers' 

Just, father, just ; three half-crowns mak five shillings, 

gie me the siller and I '11 pay the man. 
Jouk and let the jaw gae by. 

Keep the head and the feet warm, and the rest will 

tak nae harm. 

Keek in the stoup was ne'er a gude fallow. 
Ken yoursel, and your neighbours wirina mistak you. 
Kent folk are nae company. 
Keep your ill dried taunts, for your mouldy hair'd 


Keep you 're mocks till you 're married. 
Keep your breath to cool your crowdie. 
Keep your ain grease for your ain cart-wheels. 
Keep your mouth shut, and your een open. 
Keep your tongue within your teeth. 
Kitchen weel is come to town. 
Kiss my foot, there 's nae flesh there. 
Knock a carl and ding a carl, and that 's the way to 

win a carl. 
Kiss the hare's foot. 
Kythe in your ain colours. 

Lang leal, lang poor. 
Lang straes are nae mots. 
Lang sport turns aft to earnest. 
Lang and sma, gude for naething ava. 
Lang mint, little dint. 


Last to bed, best heard. 

Lang standing, and little offering, inaks a poor priest. 

Lang taiTowing taks a' the thanks awa. 

Langest at the fire, soonest finds cauld. 

Leave aff while the play 's gude. 

Leeches kill wi' license. 

Learn your gudedame to mak milk kail. 

Let the warld shogg. 

Lay the head o' the sow to the tail o' the gryce. 

Lay the sib side undermost, and reckon when you rise. 

Lay the sweet side o' your tongue till 't. 

Leal folk ne'er wanted gear. 

Lean to the brose ye got in the morning. 

Let a' trades live, quo' the wife, when she burnt her 


Let aye the bell'd wether break the snaw. 
Let byganes be byganes. 
Let the eird bear the dyke. 
Let him that 's cauld blaw the ingle. 
Let him tak a spring on his ain fiddle. 
Let him baud the bairn that aught the bairn. 
Let him come to himsel, like M'Gibbon's calf. 
Let him cool in the shoon he bet in. 
Let ilka tub stand on its ain bottom. 
Let ilka herring hing by its ain head. 
Let the horns gang wi' the hide. 
Let the mom come, and the meat wi't. 
Let the kirk stand in the kirkyard. 
Let the Lord's leather tak the Lord's weather. 
Let not the plough stand to kill a mouse. 


Let them care that come behind. 

Less grey will be your mittens. 

Light lades break nae banes. 

Like the wabster, stealing through the world. 

Like the laird o' Castlemilk's foals, born beauties. 

Little can a lang tongue lein (conceal.) 

Lick your loof and lay 't in mine, dry leather jigs aye. 

Lie for him, and he '11 swear for you. 

Light lades mak willing horses. 

Lightly come, lightly gang. 

Like the Scotchman, aye wise behind the hand. 

Like the Scotchman, steek the stable door when the 
steed 's stown. 

Like the man wi' the sair guts, nae getting quat o't. 
Like the wife wi' the mouy dochters, the best 's aye 


Like the hens, rin aye to the heap. 
Like the smith's dog, sleep at the sound o' the hammer, 

and waken at the crunching o' teeth. 
Like Orkney butter, neither gude to eat, nor criesh woo. 
Like is an ill mark 'mang ither folk's sheep. 
Like Moses's breeks, neither shape, form, nor fashion. 
Listeners ne'er heard a gude tale o' themsels. 
Little Jock gets the little dish, and that keeps him 

lang little. 

Little ken'd and less cared for. 
Little may an auld horse do, if he mayna neicher. 
Little kens the auld wife, as she sits by the fire, what 

the wind is doing on hurley-hurley swire. 
Little troubles the ee, but less the soul. 


Little to fear when traitors are true, 
ittle winning maks a light purse, 
ve upon love, as laverocks do on leeks. 

coos the dow, when the hawk 's no whistling, 
cheeps the mouse, when the cat 's no rustling. 

Mak a kiln o't, and creep in at the logic. 

Mak a' virtue o' necessity. 

Mak the best o' a bad bargain. 

May that man ne'er grow fat that wears twa beards 

beneath ae hat. 

Mair by luck than gude guiding. 
Man- nice than wise. 
Mair whistling than red land. 
Malice is aye mindful. 
Masterfu* folk maunna be mensfu'. 
Mastery maws down the meadow. 
Mak not twa mows o' ae dochter. 
May-bee was ne'er a gude honey bee. 
May-bees flie not at this time o' the year. 
Maybe your pat may need my clips. 
Mint before you strike. 
Mistress before folk, gudewife behind backs; whare 

lies the dish-clout ? 
Mows may come to earnest. 
Mony time I hae got a wipe wi' a towel, but never a 

daub wi' a dish-clout before. 
Mony a dog will die ere ye fa' heir. 
Many a dog is dead since ye was whelp'd. 
Mony cooks ne'er made gude kail. 


Muck and money gae thegither. 

Muckle din and little woo, quo' the deil, when he 

clippet the sow. 

Muckle mouthed folk are happy to their meat. 
My market 's made, ye may lick a whip-shaft. 
My dancing days are done. 
My minnie has the lave o't. 

Nae man can live at peace unless his neighbours please. 
Nae fault that the cat hae a clean band, she sets a 

bonnet sae weel. 
Nae ferlie ye say sae to me ; ye said the same mony 

time to your ain mither. 
Naebody is riving your claes to get you. 
Nae penny, nae pardon. 
Nae carrion will kill a craw. 
Nae sooner up, than the head 's in the ambry. 
Naething to do, but draw in your stool and sit down. 
Nae wonder ye 're auld like, ilka thing fashes you. 
Nae man can seek his marrow in the kirn, sae weel as 

him that has been in 't himsel. 
Nae weather ill, if the wind be still. 
Nae equal to you but our dog Sorkie, and he 's dead, 

and ye 're marrowless. 
Naething like stark dead. 

Name not a rape in the house o' ane that was hang'd. 
Nane but poets and knaves lay wagers. 
Nane can mak a bore, but ye '11 find a pin for 't. 
Near 's my kirtle, but nearer 's my sark. 
Near 's my sark, but nearer 's my skin. 


Naething is a bare man. 

Ne'er was a wife weel pleased coming frae the mill 

but ane, and she brak her neck bane. 
Nearer e'en, the mae beggars. 
Nearer the kirk, the farer frae grace. 
Nearer God's blessing than Carlisle fair. 
Neck or naething, the king likes nae cripples. 
Ne'er find fault wi' my shoon, unless you pay my souter. 
Ne'er marry a pennyless maiden, wha's proud o' her 


Ne'er run your enemy to the wa'. 
Ne'er rax aboon your reach. 
Ne'er show your teeth unless you can bite. 
Ne'er strive against the stream. 
Ne'er use the taws when a gloom will do. 
Ne'er sca'd your mouth 'mang ither folk's kail. 
Ne'er tak a forehammer to break an egg, when a nap 

wi' a knife will do. 

Ne'er throw the bridle o' your horse ower a fool's arm. 
Ne'er say Go, but gang. 
Ne'er let on, but laugh in your ain sleeve. 
Ne'er gie me my death in a toom dish. 
Ne'er gang to the deil wi' the dish-clout on your head. 
Ne'er bite unless you mak your teeth meat. 
Nineteen naesays is half a grant. 
Now is now, and Yule 's in winter. 
Ne'er waur happen you than your ain prayer. 
Never is a lang term. 

Of a' the meat in the warld, drink gaes best down. 


Out o' sight, out o' mind. 

Out o' the peat-pat into the mire : 
Out o' the frying-pan into the fire. 

Our bosom friends are sometimes our back-biters. 

Ower muckle cookery spoils the brochan. 

Ower holy was hang'd, but rough and sonsy wan awa. 

Ower strong meat for your weak stamach. 

On painting and fighting look adreigh. 

Out the highgate is aye fair play. 

Ower fine a purse to put a plack 'in. 

Own debt and crave days. 

Onything becomes a gude face, quo' the monkey, when 
he looked himsel i' the glass. 
On the 25th October, 
There 's ne'er a souter sober. 

Pay him hame in his ain coin. 

Penny wise, and pound foolish. 

Peimyless sauls maun pine in purgatory. 

Pigs may whistle, but they hae an ill mouth for t. 

Pith is gude at a' plays but threading o' needles. 

Poor folk seek meat for their stamachs, and rich folk 
stamachs for their meat. 

Put a cow in a clout and she '11 soon wear out. 

Put the saddle on the right horse. 

Put your shanks in your thanks, and mak gude gram- 
ashes o' them. 

Put on your spurs, and beat your speed. 

Puddins and wort, are hasty dirt. 

Puddins and paramours should be hetly handled. 


Pu' the rose and leave the thorn. 

Provision in season maks a rich house. 

Pretty man, I maun say ; tak a peat and sit down. 

Quey calfs are dear veal. 
Quietness is best. 

Raw leather raxes weel. 

Rab Gibb's contract stark love and kindness. 

Raise nae mair deils than ye can lay. 

Remove an auld tree and it will wither. 

Remember me to your bedfallow when you lie down. 

Reavers shoudna be ruers. 

Roose the fair day at e'en 

Roose the ford as ye find it. 

Rob Peter to pay Paul. 

Ride fair and jaup nane. 

Ride the ford as ye find it, 

Ripe fruit is soonest rotten. 

Rue and thyme grow baith in ae garden. 

Red wood maks nae spindles. 

Sair yoursel, and your friends will think the mair o' 


Sair yoursel till your bairns grow up. 
See for love and buy for siller. 
Set a beggar on horseback, and he '11 ride to the deil. 
Set your knee to 't and right it. 
She 's no to be made a sang about. 
She '11 be a gude sale wisp. 


She '11 keep her ain side o' the house, and gang on 


Sic things will be, if we sell drink. 
She frisks about like a cat's tail i' the sun. 
Saft beddin 's gude for sair banes, quo' Howie, when 

he streekit himsel on the midden-head. 
Satan reproving sin. 
Saut, quo' the souter, when he had eaten a' the cow 

but the tail. 

Send a thief to catch a thief. 
Send you to the sea and ye wadna get saut water. 
Shame fa' the dog, that when he hunted you, didna gar 

you rin faster. 

She 's greeting at the thing that she laughed at fern- 

She bauds up her head like a hen drinking water. 
She has an ill paut wi' her hind foot. 
She bauds up her gab like an awmous dish. 
She brak her elbock on the kirk door. 
Short folk are soon angry their heart 's near their 


Sindle seen, soon forgotten. 
Skill is nae burden. 
Slow at meat, slow at wark. 
Sit on your seat, and nane will rise you. 
Some ane has tauld her she was bonnie. 
Supp'd out wort ne'er made gude ale. 
Sit down and rest you, and tell us how they drest you, 

and how you wan awa. 
Speak gude o' pipers, your father was a fiddler. 


Sour plootns, quo' the tod, when he coudna climb the 


Souters and tailors count hours. 
Some generations look up, and some look down. 
Strike the iron when it's het. 
Sup wi' your head, your homer is dead; he 's dead that 

made the munsie. 
Sure bind, sure find. 
Sweet in the on-taking, but sour in the aff-putting. 

Tak a mell and fell he that gies a' to his bairns and 

keeps nane to himsel. 

Tak a piece, ye 're teeth 's langer than your beard. 
Tak the bit and the buffet wi't. 
Tak a man by his word and a cow by the horn. 
Tak care o' that man whom God hath set his mark upon. 
Tak him up on his five eggs, and ane o' them rotten. 
Tak a spring on your ain fiddle, and dance when ye're 


Tappit hens like cock-crawing. 
Tary breeks pay nae freight. 
Tarry lang, brings little hame. 
Tell nae tales out o' the school. 
The banes o' a great estate are worth the picking. 
The Englishman greets, the Irishman sleeps, but the 

Scotchman gangs till he gets it. 
The drunken man gets aye the drunken penny. 
The lean dog is a' flaes. 
The friar preached against stealing, while he had the 

puddin in his sleeve. 


The reek o 1 my ain house is better than the fire o' 

my neighbour's. 
The death o' a wife, and the standing o' sheep, is the 

best thing ever cam ower a poor man. 
That 's a tee'd ba'. 
That 's waur and mair o't. 
That *s as ill as the ewes in the yard, and nae dogs to 

hunt them. 

That 's ca'ing saut to Dysart, and puddins to Tranent. 
That 's gee luget drink. 

That 's like seeking for a needle in a bundle o' strae. 
That 's felling twa dogs wi' ae stane. 
That 's Hackerston's cow, a' the tither way. 
That 's my tale : whare 's yours. 
That 's for you, and butter is for fish. 
That's the way to marry me, if ere you chance to 

do it. 

That winna be a mot in your marriage. 
That bolt cam ne'er out o' your bag. 
The auld withie-tree should hae a new yett hung on 't. 
The back o' ane is the face o' twa. 
The e'ening brings a' hame. 
The farest way about is aft the nearest way hame. 
The first puff o' a fat haggis is aye the bauldest. 
The higher that the tree grows, the sweeter grows the 

The langer that the souter works, the blacker grows 

his thumbs. 
The first gryce and the last whelp o' the litter, are aye 

the best. 


The greatest rogue aye first cries Fire ! 

The goose pan aboon the roast. 

The goat gies a gude milking, but she ca's ower the 
cog wi' her feet. 

The grace o' a grey bannock is in the breaking o't. 

The hen's egg gaes to the ha', to bring the goose's egg 

The mair the merrier ; the fewer, better cheer. 

The mair the camel is bowed down, the better it 

The next time you dance, ken wha you tak by the 

The poor man's shilling is but a penny. 

The richer the souter, the blacker his thumbs. 

The thatcher said to his man " Let 's raise this ladder 
if we can," " But first let us drink, master." 

The thiefer like, the better sodger. 

The weak aye gaes to the wa'. 

The wife's ae dochter, and the man's ae cow, 
The taen is ne'er weel, and the tither's ne'er fou. 

The unsonsy fish aye gets the unlucky bait. 

There's kail in the cat's wame. 

There 's a day o' reckoning, and anither day o' pay- 

There 's nae fay folk's meat in my pat. 

There 's nae remede for fear but cut aff the head. 

There 's a sliddrey stane before the ha' door. 

There 's a teuch sinnen in an auld wife's neck. 

There 's a whaup in the rape. 

There 's a bonnie reason, wi' a clout about the foot o't. 


There 's as mony Johnstons as Jardines. 

There 's life in a mussel as lang as it can cheep. 

There 's life in a mussel although it be little. 

There 's little wit in the pow that lights the candle at 
the lowe. 

There 's little wit in the head that lights the candle at 
the red. 

There 's muckle ado when dominies ride. 

There 's muckle between the word and the deed. 

There 's muckle hid meat in a goose's ee. 

There 's muckle ado when burghers ride. 

There ne'er was a fire without some reek. 

There ne'er was a silly Jockey but there was a silly 

There 's aye a glum look whare there 's cauld crowdie. 

There was ne'er aneugh whare naething was left. 

There was a wife wha kept her supper for her break- 
fast, and she died ere day. 

There ne'er was a poor man in his kin. 

They 're far behind that may not follow. 

They 're a bonnie pair, as the craw said o' his legs. 

They 're keen o' company that taks the dog on their 

They 're aye gude that gies. 

They 're aye gude that 's far awa. 

They 're aye gude will'd o' their horse that hae nane. 

They mense little when the mouth bites aff the nose. 

They ne'er saw dainties that think a haggis a feast. 

They ne'er saw a haggis that think a puddin a feast. 

They that bum you for a witch, will lose their coals. 


They ne'er gae wi' the spit but they gat wi' the 


They that never filled a cradle, shoudna sit in ane. 
They that finds keeps, they that losses seeks. 
They that bourd wi' cats, maun count on scarts. 
They wha see you in daylight, winna rin awa wi' you 

when it 's dark. 
They were never fain that fidged, nor fou that licket 

They were never first at the wark, wha bade God 

speed the wark. 

They wist as weel wha didna speir. 
This and better may do, but this and waur will ne'er 

Thoughts beguile maidens, and sae fares wi' you that's 

Thoughts are free, and though I say little, I yerk at 

the thinking. 
Touch not my sair heel. 
Threatened folk live lang. 
Three can keep a secret if twa be awa. 
Touch pot, touch penny. 
Tine needle, tine darg. 
Tine heart and a' is gane. 
Travellers' words are no aye to be trusted. 
Travellers hae liberty to lie. 
Tramp on a snail and it will shoot out its horns. 
Tramp on a worm and it will stir its tail. 
True blue will never stain, but dirty red will dye 




Twa gudes seldom meet, what 's gude for the plants 

is ill for the peats. 

Twa hands in ae dish, but ane in a purse. 
Twa heads are better than ane, quo' the wife, when 

she and her dog gaed to the market. 
Twine tow, your minnie was a gude spinner. 

Unseen, unrued. 

Up hill spare me, down hill tak tent o' thee. 

Walie, walie! bairns are bonnie; ane's aneugh and twa 's 

ower mony. 

We hounds slew the hare, quo' the messan. 
We will bark ourselves, rather than buy dogs sae dear. 
Weel 's him, and wae 's him, that has a bishop in his 

Weel, quo' Wylie, when his ain wife dang him. 

Weel, quo' Wallace, and then he leugh, 

The king o' France has gowd aneugh, 

And ye '11 get it a' for the winning. 
Wealth in a widow's house, is kail without saut. 
Wha comes sae aften and brings sae little ? 
Wha canna gie will little get. 
Whare vice is, vengeance follows. 
What maks you sae rumgunshach, and me sae curcud- 


What may be done at ony time, is done at nae time. 
What better is the house that the daw rises soon. 
What puts that in your head, that didna put the sturdy 



What the ee sees not, the heart rues not. 

What you want up and down, you hae hither and yont. 

When ae door steeks, anither ane opens. 

When a' men speak, nae man hears. 

When a' is in, and the slap dit, rise herd, and let the 

dog sit. 

When horns and hair owergang the man, 

There 's little hope o' the creature than. 
When he dies o' auld age, ye may quake for fear. 
When it was, and not Where it was. 
When is there to be an end o't, quo' Wylie, when he 

wauchelt through the midden. 
When lairds break, carls get land. 
When the tod preaches, tak care o' the lambs. 
When thieves cast out, honest folk come to their ain. 
When the hen gaes to the cock, the birds may get a 


When the gudewife 's awa, the keys are tint. 
When the gudeman's awa, the board-claith 's tint. 
When you 're sair'd, the geese are water'd. , 
When you 're a' study, lie you still ; 
When you 're a hammer, strike your fill. 
When you christen the bairn, ye ken what to ca 't. 
Where will you get a park to put your yeld kye in ? 
Where the deer 's slain, some bluid will lie. 
Whelps are aye blind that dogs get in haste. 
Whiles you, and whiles me, sae gaes the baillierie. 
Whitely things are aye tender. 
Will and wit strive wi' you. 
Without crack or flaw. 


Words are but wind, but dunts are the deil. 
Wonder at your auld shoon, when you hae gotten your 

Work in God's name, and sae doesna the deil. 

Ye 're like the man that sought his horse, and him on 

its back. 

Ye 're sick, but no sair handled. 
Ye 're as daft as ye 're days auld. 
Ye blush like a beggar at a bawbee. 
Ye breed o' the tod's bairns, if ane be gude, they 're a' 


Ye breed o' auld maidens, you look high. 
Ye breed o' the craw's tail, ye grow backwards. 
Ye breed o' nettle-kail and cock-lairds, ye need muckle 

Ye breed o' Sangster's swine, your neb is never out o' 

an ill turn. 

Ye breed o' the chapman, ye 're aye to hansel. 
Ye breed o' the laird, ye '11 do nae right, and ye '11 tak 

nae wrang. 

Ye breed o' the herd's wife, ye busk at e'en. 
Ye breed o' the witches, ye can do nae gude to yoursel. 
Ye come to the gait's house to thigg woo. 
Ye come o' the M'Tacks, but no o' the M'Gies. 
Ye canna preach out o' your ain pu'pit. 
Ye canna get leave to thrive for thrang. 
Ye cam a day after the fair. 
Ye cut lang whangs aff ither folk's leather. 
Ye come in clipping time. 


Ye dinna aye ride when you put on your spurs. 
Ye dinna aye ride when you saddle your horse. 
Ye drive the plough before the owsen. 
Ye fand it whare the Highlandraan fand the tangs. 
Ye got ower muckle o' your will, and you 're the waur 


Ye get baith the skaith and the scorn. 
Ye gang round by Lanark, for fear Linton dogs bite you. 
Ye hae a streik o' carl hemp in you. 
Ye hae a sa' (salve) for ilka sair. 
Ye hae a ready mouth for a ripe cherry. 
Ye hae brought the pack to the preens. 
Ye hae ca'd your hogs to an ill market. 
Ye hae been lang on little eird. 
Ye hae fasted lang, and worried on a midge. 
Ye hae gotten a ravell'd hesp to redd. 
Ye hae gien the wolf the wethers to keep. 
Ye hae staid lang, and brought little wi' you. 
Ye hae the wrang sow by the lug. 
Ye hae skill o' man and beast, and dogs that tak the 

Ye hae nae mair sense than a hen would haud in her 

faulded neive. 

Ye hae nae mair sense than a sucking turkey. 
Ye hae ower foul feet to come sae far ben. 
Ye hae sitten your time, as mony gude hen 's done. 
Ye hae the chapman's drouth. 
Ye hae wrought a yoken and loosed in time. 
Ye ken your ain groats amang ither folk's kail. 
Ye ken what drunkards dree. 


Ye ken naething but milk and bread, and that mool'd in. 

Ye ken not whase ladle may cog your ain kail yet. 

Ye look like a Lochaber-axe new frae the grundstane. 

Ye look like a Murrayman melting brass. 

Ye look like the deil in daylight. 

Ye look like a ririner, quo' the deil to the lobster. 

Ye look liker a deil than a bishop. 

Ye look as bauld as a cuddie-ass in a lion's skin. 

Ye look as bauld as a black fac'd wether. 

Ye loup like a cock at a grosset. 

Ye mak me seek the needle, whare I stuck it not. 

Ye may dight your neb and flee up. 

Ye may tak a drink out o' the burn when you canna 

tak a bite out o' the brae. 
Ye may be godly, but ye '11 ne'er be cleanly. 
Ye maun be auld ere ye pay a gude wad. 
Ye met my peas wi' your ain peck. 
Ye ne'er bought saut to the cat. 
Ye needna put the water by your ain mill. 
Ye needna lay thereout for want o' a nest egg. 
Ye was ne'er born at that time o' the year. 
Ye speak unspoken to. 

Ye was put out o' the oven for nipping the pies. 
Ye was never far frae your mither's hip. 
Ye watna what 's behind your hand. 
Ye 're a corby messenger. 

Ye rin for the spurtle when the pat 's rinning ower. 
Ye ride sae near the rumple, ye '11 let nane loup on 

ahint you. 
Ye 're the weight o' Jock's cog, brose and a'. 


Ye would be a gude piper's bitch, ye smell out the 

wedding*. 4B>' 

Ye shape my shoon by your ain shachled feet. 
Ye seek grace at a graceless face. 
Ye shaniia be niffer'd, but for a better. 
Ye sair'd me as the wife sair'd the cat first put her 

in the kirn, and then haul'd her out. 
Ye would mak muckle o' me if I was yours. 
Ye would gar me trew that spade-shafts bear plooms. 
Ye would be gude to fetch the deil a drink. 
Ye would lose your lug if it were loose. 
Ye '11 ne'er be sae auld wi' sae muckle honesty. 
Ye '11 beguile nane, but them that trust you. 
Ye 're but beginning yet, as the wife did that ran wud. 
Ye 're a sweet nut for the deil to crack. 
Ye 're a 'deil and nae cow, like the man's bull. 
Ye 're a gude seeker, but an ill finder. 
Ye 're a man among geese, when the gander's awa. 
Ye 're a rich rogue, wi' twa sarks and a rag. 
Ye 're as lang tuning your pipes, as anither would play 

a spring. 

Ye 're at the lug o' the law. 
Ye 're ane o' Cow-meek's breed, you '11 stand without 

a bannock. 

Ye 're welcome, but ye '11 no win ben. 
Ye 're thrifty, and through thriving. 
Ye 're as muckle as half a witch. 
Ye 're new come ower, your heart 's nipping. 
Ye 're gude to fetch the deil a priest. 
Ye 're gude to be sent for sorrow. 


Ye 're a maiden marrowless. 

Ye 're seeking the thing that 's no tint. 

Ye 're no sae far travelled, as you look like, quo' the 

wife to the black chapman, when he was trying to 

cheat her. 

Ye 're as mim as a May puddock. 
Ye 're an honest man, and I'm your uncle, and that 's 

twa great lies. 

Ye 're a' blawing like a bursten haggis. 
Ye 're a' out o't, and into strae. 
Ye 're a' black about the mou' for want o' kissing. 
Ye 're o' sae mony minds, ye '11 ne'er be married. 
Ye 're out and in like a dog at a fair. 
Ye 're ower het and ower fou, like few o' the laird's tenants. 
Ye 're ower auld farren to be fleyed wi' bogles. 
Ye 're a day after the fair. 
Ye 're bonnie enough to them that like you, but mair 

sae to them that like you and canna get you. 
Ye 're cawking the claith ere the wab be in the loom. 
Ye 're come o' bluid and sae is a puddin. 
Ye 're Davy-do-little, and gude for naething. 
Ye 're fit for coarse country wark ye 're rather strong 

as handsome. 

Ye 're like the corncraiks aftener heard than seen. 
Ye 're like the chapman ne'er aff your road. 
Ye 're like the miller's dochter speirs what tree groats 

grow on. 

Ye 're sleeping as the dogs do, when the wives bake. 
Ye 're like the stirk's tail ye grow to the ground. 
Ye 're like the gowk ye hae nae sang but ane. 


Ye 're like the Kilbarchan calves like best to drink 

wi' the wisp in your mouth. 
Ye 're like the miller's dog ye lick your lips or the 

pock be opened. 

Ye 're like the swine ye '11 neither lead nor drive. 
Ye 're like Brackley's tup ye follow the lave. 
Ye "re like Piper Bennet's bitch lick till ye burst. 
Ye 're like the singet cats better than ye 're likely. 
Ye 're like the wife's dochter better than ye 're bonnie. 
Ye 're like Laird Hoodie's greyhounds unca hungry 

like about the pouch lids. 
Ye 're like Lamington's mare ye break brawly aff, 

but soon gies up. 

Ye 're looking ower the nest, like the young craws. 
Ye 're mair fley'd than hurt. 
Ye 're souple sark alane, some are mither naked. 
Ye 're ower strait shod. 
Ye 're no light where you lean a'. 
Ye 're ne'er content, fou nor fasting. 
Ye 're nae chicken for a' your cheeping. 
Ye 're sair fash'd hauding naething thegither. 
Ye 're sair stress'd stringing the milsie. 
Ye 're there yet, and your belt hale. 
Ye '11 get him whare you left him. 
Ye '11 drink before me. 
Ye '11 play a sma game before you stand out. 
Ye '11 get better when you mend. 
Ye '11 die without amends o't. 
Ye 're a foot behind the foremost. 
Ye '11 follow him lang or he let five shillings fa'. 



Ye '11 get your gear again, and they will get the widdie 

that stole 't. 

Ye 're up to the buckle, like John Barr's cat. 
Ye '11 ne'er get honey, whoreson, frae me. 
Ye '11 ne'er cast saut on his tail. 
Ye '11 gar him claw a sair haffit. 
Ye '11 gar him claw whare it 's no youky. 
Ye '11 mak him claw a poor man's haffit. 
Ye '11 let naething tine for want o' seeking. 
Ye 11 hang a' but the head yet. 
Ye '11 ne'er mak a mark in your testament by that 


Ye '11 ne'er craw in my cavie. 
Ye '11 ne'er rowte in my tether. 
Ye '11 hae the half o' the gate, and a' the mire. 
You canna fare weel but you cry roast-meat. 
You got your will in the first wife's time, and ye shanna 

want it now. 
You burn daylight 
You sell the bear's skin on his back, 
You hae fasted lang, and worried on a flee. 
You fyke it awa, like auld wives baking. 
You hae mind o' your meat, though you hae little hap 


You hae hit it, if you had a stick. 
You hae the bitch in a wheel-band. 
You tak a bite out o' your ain hip. 
You hae come to a peel'd egg. 
You hae sew'd that seam wi' a het needle and a burning 



You didna draw sae weel when my mare waa in the 


You hae been gotten gathering nuts, ye speak in clusters. 
You are weel awa if you bide. 
You may gang through Egypt without a pass. 
You may dance at the end o' a rape yet, without 


You will get your brose out o' the lee side o' the kail-pat. 
You will ne'er let your gear owergang you. 
Your een 's no marrows. 
Your head will ne'er fill your father's bonnet. 
You rave unrocked, I wish your head was knocked. 
You shanna want as lang as I hae, but look weel to 

your ain. 

You hae lost the stang o' your trump. 
You hae a Scotch tongue in your head. 
You hae put a toom spoon in my mouth. 
You hae a foot-rut o' the lingel. 
Your lugs may hae youked. 
Your purse was steikit when that was paid for. 
Your minnie's milk 's no wrung out o' your nose yet. 
Your tongue gangs like a lamb's tail. 
Your bread 's baken, you may hang up your girdle. 
Your feet will ne'er fill your father's shoon. 
Your mind 's aye chacing mice. 
Your mouth has beguiled your hands. 
Your musing mars your memory. 
Your wit will ne'er worry you. 
Your gear will ne'er owergang you. 
Youth ne'er cast for perils. 


A dry simmer ne'er made a dear peck. 

A peck o' March dust is worth a peck o' gowd. 

A peck o' March dust is worth a king's ransom. 

A peck o' March dust, and a shower in May, 

Mak the corn green, and the fields look gay. 
April showers bring summer flowers. 
A Scotch mist will weet an Englishman to the skin. 
A wet May and a windy, maks a fou barn-yard and a 


A rainbow in the morning is the sailor's warning. 
A rainbow at noon, will bring rain very soon. 
A rainbow at night is the sailor's delight. 
Drouth ne'er bred dearth. 

If there be a rainbow in the eve, it will rain and leave : 
If there be a rainbow in the morrow, it will neither 

lend nor borrow. 

An evening red and a morning grey, 
Doth betoken a bonnie day : 
An evening grey and a morning red, 
Put on your hat or ye '11 weet your head. 
He that would hae a bad day, may gang out in a fog 

after a frost. 


Clear in the south beguiled the cadger. 
Under water, dearth ; under snaw, bread. 
Winter's thunder, bodes simmer's hunger. 
What Friday gets it keeps. 

A Saturday's moon, if it comes but ance in the seven 
years, comes ower often. 

Winter's thunder, and simmers flood, 
Ne'er boded Scotland good. 
Buchanan's almanack lang foul, lang fair. 
Come it ear or come it late, in May will come the 

When the mist taks to the hill, 
Then gude weather it doth spill : 
When the mist taks to the sea, 
Then gude weather it will be. 
Sae mony mists in March ye see, 
Sae mony frosts in May will be. 
In the auld moon, a cloudy morning bodes a fair after- 

March in Janavier, Janavier in March I fear. 
A kindly gude Janavier will frieze the pot by the fire. 
February fills the dike either wi' black or white; 
But if white the better to like. 
A' the months o' the year, curse a fair February. 
If Candlemas day be fair and bright, 
Winter will hae anither flight. 
If Candlemas day hae showers and rain, 
Winter is past, and will not come again. 
When Candlemas day is come and gane, 
The snaw lies on a het stane. 


The shepherd would as lief see his wife on a bier, 
As a Candlemas day to be pleasant and clear. 
If Candlemas day be clear and fair, 
The half o' winter 's to come and mair : 
If Candlemas day be dark and foul, 
The half o' winter 's past at Yule. 

On Candlemas day you maun hae 
Half your hay, and half your strae. 
As lang as the bird sings before Candlemas, as lang it 
sings after Candlemas. 

March winds and May sun, 
Mak claes white, and lasses dun. 
March grass never did gude. 
March comes in wi' an adder's head, and gangs out wi' 

a peacok's tail. 

March comes like a lion, and gaes out like a lamb. 
March whisker, ne'er was a gude fisher. 
A windy March ne'er was a gude fish year. 
On the 22d o' March, the day and the night marches. 

The Furtuch, or Borrowing Days. 
March borrows frae April, three days, and they are ill; 
April borrows frae March again, three days o' wind 
and rain. 

March said to April, 

Lend me days three ; 
I see three hogs upon yon hill, 

I '11 try to gar them die. 
The first day was wind and weet ; 
The second day was snaw and sleet ; 


The third day was sic a freeze, 
It froze the bird's nebs to the trees : 
But when the three days were come and gane, 
The three little hoggies cam toddling hame. 

The first day of April, send the gowk anither mile. 

April showers bring milk and meal. 

When April blaws his horn, it is gude for hay and com. 

The third day of April, brings the gowk and nightingale. 

As the day lengthens, the cauld strengthens. 

Saw wheat in dirt, and rye in dust. 

The spring e'enings are lang and teuch, 
The har'est e'enings are soon ower the heugh. 
May showers bring milk and meal. 
May flood ne'er did good. 

Look at your corn in May, 
And ye '11 come weeping away: 
Look at the same in June, 
And ye '11 be in anither tune. 
A leeking May, and a warm June, 
Brings on the har'est very soon. 
Cast ne'er a clout till May be out. 
It 's time to mak the bear-seed when the plane-tree 
covers the craw. 

When the slae bush is as white as a sheet, 
Saw your bear, whither it be dry or weet. 
If St. Swithin greets, the proverb says, 
The weather will be foul for forty days. 
As St. Swithin's day is fair or foul, sae is the weather 
for forty days. 


A shower of rain in July, when the corn begins to fill, 

Is worth a plough of owsen, and a' belangs theretill. 
If the first of July be rainy weather, 
It will rain mair or less for four weeks together. 
If the twenty-fourth of August be fair and clear, 
Then hope for a prosperous autumn that year. 

In har'est the lairds are labourers. 

Barnaby bright, the langest day and the shortest night. 

After Lammas corn ripens as much by night as by day. 

Oysters are only in season, in those months that are 
spell'd with an R. 

Drouth never bred dearth in Scotland. 


When the wind 's in the west, the weathers 's at the best. 
When the wind 's in the east, it 's neither gude for man 

nor beast. 

When the wind's in the south, of rain there will be fouth. 
When the wind 's still, no weather 's ill. 


Relating to Flattery and Promising. 
I hecht you a hire. 

I '11 gie you something that '11 no mool in your pouch. 
If ever I be rich and you poor, I ken what ye'se get. 
1 11 kiss you behind the lug, and that '11 no break the 

bluid in your face. - 
I '11 kiss you when ye 're sleeping, and that '11 hinder 

me frae dreaming o' you when ye 're dead. 
Ye '11 ne'er be changed but for a better. 
Ye '11 be my dear till day. 
Ye 're aye gude, and ye '11 grow fair. 
Leese me on thy bonnie mouth that ne'er tauld a fool's 


In answer to the question, How d'ye do? 
E'en a* the better that you 're weel. 
Very weel : I thank you for epeiring. 
No that ill : how are you yoursel ? 

Gayen weel, if my mouth was wet. 


A' the better that ye Ve speir'd, speir 't ower again. 

Loose and living, and hound to nae man. 

Living, and life like. 

Brawly, finely, gaily, at least. 

Living, and life thinking. 

Living, and lairds do nae mair. 

Meat hale. 

Heart hale, and sillerless: a hundred pounds would do 

me nae harm. 

Weel enough, but naething to brag o'. 
As weel as I can, but not sae weel as I would. 


If I dinna do weel, do you better. 

E'en like yoursel, poor, and proud, and something fause. 

Relating to Threatening. 
I '11 gie you a gab-stick. 
I '11 gie you ane, and lend you anither. 
I '11 gie you the thing ye' re no wanting. 
I '11 gie you a sark fou o' sair banes. 
1 '11 scum your jaws for you. 
I '11 gie you a fluet on the cheek-blade, will gar the fire 

flee frae your een-holes. 

I '11 gang as peaceably on you, as on the house floor. 
I '11 gar the fire flee frae your een. 
I '11 tak my hand aff your ham* t. 
I '11 gar you rin like a sheep frae the shears. 
I '11 watch your water-gate. 


I '11 gar you mak twa o' that. 

I '11 bring your Yule belt to the Beltane bore. 

I '11 tak a mot frae your lug. 

I '11 ca' the mist frae your een. 

I '11 gar you blirt wi' baith your een. 

I '11 gar your barns jaup. 

I '11 gar you laugh water. 

I '11 gar you sing port-yowl. 

I '11 tak a rung frae the bougars o' the house, and rizle 

your riggin wi't. 

I '11 gie ye on the ae cheek, and kep you on the ither. 
I '11 handle ye wi' the hands I handle mysel wi'. 

Relating to the Horse. 

A grunting horse and a graining wife never fail'd their 


A naig wi' a wame and a mare wi' nane. 
A mare wi' a horse's wame, and a horse wi' a mare's. 
An eel-back'd dun ne'er left his master ahin. 
Horses are gude o' a' hues. 
Let your horse drink what he will, but not when he will. 

Up hill spare me, down hill tak tent o' thee ; 

Up hill spare me, down hill bear me : 

Plain way spare me not; 

Let me not drink when I 'm hot. 
He that lets his wife go to every wake, and his horse 

drink at every lake, will never want a whore or a 



Characteristic points of a good Greyhound. 

A head like a snake, 
A neck like a drake, 
A back like a beam, 
A belly like a bream, 
- A foot like a cat, 
A tail like a rat. 

With a red man, rede thy read : 
With a brown man, break thy bread : 
With a pale man, draw thy knife : 
With a black man, keep thy wife. 

To travel safely through the world, a man would require, 
A falcon's eye, 
An ass's ears, 
An ape's face, 
A merchant's words, 
A camel's back, 
A hog's mouth, 
And a hart's legs. 

Prom the Italian. 



Properties of the Winds at all Seasons of the Year. 


North winds send hail, south winds bring rain ; 
East winds we bewail, west winds blow amain : 
North-east is too cold, south-east not too warm ; 
North-west is too bold, south-west doth no harm. 


The north is a noyer to grass of all suites ; 
The east a destroyer to herb and all fruits. 


The south, with his showers, refresheth the corn ; 
The west, to all flowers, may not be forborne. 


Whe west, as a father, all goodness doth bring ; 
The east a forbearer no manner of thing ; 
The south, as unkind, draweth sickness too near ; 
The north, as a friend, maketh all again clear. 


With temperate wind, we blessed be of God, 
With tempest we find we are beat with his rod 
All power, we know, to remain in his hand, 
However wind blow, by sea or by land. 

Of the Months of the Year. 
A kindly good Janavier freezeth pot by the fire. 
February fill the dike with what thou dost like. 
March dust to be sold, is worth ransom of gold. 
Sweet April showers do spring May flowers. 
Cold May and windy, barn filleth fendy. 
Calm weather in June, barn filleth soon. 
No tempest, good July, lest com look ruly. 
Dry August and warm, doth harvest no harm. 
September blow soft, till fruit be in loft. 
October good blast, to blow the hog's mast. 
November take flail, let ships no more sail. 
O dirty December, for Christmas remember. 


Well brewed, worth cost ; ill used, half lost. 


New bread is a drivell; much crust is as evil. 

Good cookery craveth; good turnspit saveth. 

* In the time when Tusser wrote, every respectable farmer 
was in the habit of brewing his own ale. 1 have somewhere 



Good dairy doth pleasure; ill dairy spends treasure. 

No scouring for pride : spare kettle whole side. 

Take heed when you wash, else run in the lash. 


Ill malting is theft; wood-dried hath a weft. 
Take heed to the kell, sing out as a bell. 
Best dried, best speeds ; ill kept, bowd breeds. 
Malt being well speered, the more it will cast. 
Malt being well dried, the longer will last. 

heard an account of the various qualities produced from one 
brewing: viz. 

" Good ale, 

Very good ale, 
; May go down, 

Must go down, 
Scour-gut, and 

This variety has been equalled by the Gudewife of Lochrin, 
Kinrosshire, who made a " browst o' a peck o' maut," from 
which she extracted 

Twenty pints o' strong ale, 

Twenty pints o' sma, 

Twenty pints o' hinkie-pinkie, 

Twenty pints o' ploughman's drinkie, 

Twenty pints o' splutter-splatter, 

And twenty pints was waur than water. ED. 


A description of Woman s Age, by six times Fourteen 
Years' Apprenticeship. 

14. Two first seven years for a rod they do whine ; 

28. Two next, as a pearl in the world they do shine ; 

42. Two next, trim beauty beginneth to swerve ; 

56. Two next, for matrons or drudges they serve ; 

70. Two next, doth come a staff for a stay ; 

84. Two next, a bier to fetch them away. 

A Lesson. 
Then purchase some pelf, 

By forty and three ; 
Or buckle thyself, 

A drudge for to be. 

Man's Age divided by Apprenticeships, from his birth 
to his grave. 

7. The first seven years, bring up as a child ; 
14. The next, to learning, for waxing too wild. 
21. The next, keep under Sir Hobbard de Hoy; 
28. The next, a man, no longer a boy. 
35. The next, let Lusty lay wisely to wive ; 
42. The next, lay now, or else never to thrive. 
49. The next, make sure for term of thy life ; 
56. The next, save somewhat for children and wife. 
63. The next, be stayed, give over thy lust ; 
72. The next, think hourly, whither thou must. 
77. The next, get chair and crutches to stay ; 
84. The next, to heaven, God send us the way ! 


Who losetli their youth shall rue it in age ! 
Who hateth the truth in sorrow shall rage. 

Another division of the Age and Nature of Man. 

The Ape, the Lion, the Fox, the Ass, 
Thus sets forth man as in a glass. 
Ape. Like apes, we be toying till twenty and one ; 
Lion. Then hasty as lions, till forty be gone : 
Fox. Then wiley, as foxes, till threescore and three ;- 
Ass. Then, after, for asses accounted we be. 

Who plays with his better this lesson must know, 
What humbleness fox to the lion doth owe ; 
For ape with his toying, and rudeness of ass, 
Brings (out of good hour) displeasure to pass. 


Abee. To let abee. To let alone, not to meddle. 

Ablins. Perhaps. 

Abone. Above. 

Addle. Foul putrid water. 

Adreich. At a distance. 

Ae. One. 

Aff. Off. 

Agee. To one side. 

Ahind. Ahint. Behind. 

Aik. The oak. 

Aiver. A cart-horse. 

Aim. Once. 

Aits. Oats. 

Air. Early. 

Airts. Airths. Quarters of the heavens, points of the 

Aiths. Oaths. 
Alain-. Alone. 
Amaist. Almost. 
Among. Among. 

Ambry. A press for provisions in daily use. 
Ane. One. 


Aneugh. Enough. 

Aneth. Beneath. 

Ark. Meal-ark. A large chest for holding meal, corn, &c. 

Aries. A piece of money given in confirmation of a 


Atteled. Etteled. Aimed. 
Aucht. Possessed. 
Auld. Old. 
Aumis. Alms. 
Ava. At all. 
Awe. To own. 
Ax. Ask. 
Ayont. Beyond. 

Back-sprent. Back-bone. Sprent. Spring. 

Bauld. Bald. Bold. 

Bane. Bone. 

Banning. Irreverent exclamation, often used as distin- 
guished from cursing. 

Bauchle. To put out of shape : an old shoe. 

Bawhs. A strip of land left unploughed, about three 

Bawbee. A halfpenny. 

Baith. Both. 

Bannock. Bread baked from dough rather wet, 
toasted on a girdle. 

Ba. Baw. A ball. 

Baxter. A baker. 

Bear. Beere. Barley. 

Bearland. Land appropriated for barley crop. 

Beck. Bek. To curtsy. 

Seek. Beik. To bask. 

Beild. Bield. Shelter, refuge. 



Beld. Bald : without hair. 

Belyve. Immediately, quickly. 

Bellwaver. To stroll, to straggle. 

Belt. To gird. 

Beltane. Beltain. The first day of May, O. S. 

Ben. Towards the inner : the inner room of a house. 

But and ben. A house containing two apartments. 

Band. Bend. A ribbon, a fillet. 

Bein. Bien. Wealthy, comfortably provided, &c. 

Benk. Sink. A bench, a seat. 

Bent. A coarse kind of grass growing on hilly ground. 

Bicker. A wooden dish for containing liquor. 

Bide. Byde. To wait for. 

Bide. To endure. 

Big. 'Bigg. Byg. To build. 

Bygone. Bygone. 

Birk. Birch tree. 

Birn. The stronger stems of burnt heath which remain 
after the smaller are consumed. 

Birse. Birs. Birses. The bristles of a sow. 

Birsle. To burn slightly. 

Bit. A vulgar term used for food. Bit and brat. Meat 
and clothing. 

Bittell. Beetle. Used for beating clothes. 

Black-foot. A sort of match-maker : one who goes be- 
tween the lover and his mistress. 

Bladded. A blow given on the cheek. 

Blait. Elate. Bashful. 

Blather. Blether. To talk nonsensically. 

Blow. To blow. 

Blawflum. What has no reality in it : a sham. 

Blink. Blank. A beam, a ray, a glance with the eye, 
particularly expressive of regard. 


Blin. Blyn. To cease, to desist. 

Blirt. " A blirt of greeting" A violent burst of tears, with 

Blythe. To make glad, happy, cheerful. 

Bob. Bab. To dance. 

Bock. To vomit. 

Bodin. A proser. 

Bodle. Boddle. A copper coin of the value of two 
pennies Scots, or the third part of an English penny. 

Bogitt. Bogle. A spectre, a hobgoblin. 

Borrowing days. The three last days of March, O. S. 

Bote. Bute. Beot. Help, advantage; often used as some- 
thing more than the price or bargain. 

Bougars. Cross-spars, forming part of the roof of a cottage, 
instead of laths, on which wattlings' or twigs are 
placed, and, above these, divots, and then the straw or 

Bouk. Buik. The trunk of the body. 

Bowkit. Large, bulky. 

Bonnie. To make ready, to prepare. 

Bountith. Something given as a reward for service. 

Bowrocks. An inclosure, applied to the little houses 
children build with sand in play. 

Bowat. A hand-lantern. 

Bourd. To jest. 

Boutgate. A circuitous road. 

Bowhail. Cabbage. 

Bowstoch. A cabbage. 

Braid. Broad. 

Brak. To break. 

Br under. A gridiron. 

Brang. Brought. 

Branks A sort of bridle, used in this country for a horse. 


Brash. A transient attack of sickness. 

Brat. A small apron: clothing in general. 

Brawl. To threaten, to quarrel. 

Brawty. Very welL 

Braxy. A disease in sheep. 

Breachame. The collar of a working horse. 

Broo. Bree. Juice, sauce, soup. 

Breiks. Breeks. Breeches. 

Breard. The first appearance of grain above ground. 

Breid. Brede. To resemble. 

Brent. High, upright. Brent-brow. A high brow. , 

Brig. Bridge. 

Brochan. Oatmeal boiled into a consistence somewhat 

thicker than gruel. 
Broodie. Prolific. 

Broose. Bruse. A race at a country wedding. 
Brose. A kind of pottage made by pouring boiling water 

on oatmeal, and stirring them while the water is poured. 
Brothe. To be in a state of profuse perspiration. 
Brow. Opinion. Nae brow. No favourable opinion. 
Brownie. A spirit, supposed to haunt some old houses, 

especially farm houses. 
Browst. Browest. As much malt liquor as is brewed at 

a time. 

Bruckle. Brittle. 
Brulzie. Brawl, fray, or quarrel. 
Bubbly. Snotty. 

Buckie. Bucky. Any spiral shell, of whatever size. 
Buckle. To unite in marriage, used in a ludicrous sense. 
Buff. A blow, nonsense. To buff corn. To give grain 

half thrashing. 

Bung. The cork of a barrel 
Buffer. A foolish fellow. 


Bum-clock. The humming beetle that flies in the evening. 

Burd. Burde. Bourd. Table. 

Burn. A streamlet, a brook. 

Busket. Dressed. 

But. Without. 

But. The outer apartment of a house of two rooms. 

Cabback. Kebbuck. A cheese. 

Cabir. Kabor. A rafter of the house, coupling. 

Cadge. Caitch. To toss, to shog. 

Caff. Chaff. 

Gavels. Caplis. Lots. 

Caird. A gipsey. 

Cauld. Cald. Cold. 

Ca\ Caw. Caa. To drive. 

Cattan. A stripling, a lad. 

Cauler. Caller. Cool, fresh. 

Cankert. Cankerwit. Cross, ill conditioned. 

Cannie. Kannie. Cautious, prudent. 

Canty. Lively, cheerful. 

Capstride. To drink in place of another. 

Carl. Carle. A man, as distinguished from a boy. 

Carlin. An old woman. 

Castock. The heart of the stalk of colewort or cabbage. 

Came. A hen-coop. 

Causey. The street. 

Cawk. Chalk. 

Chafts. Chaftis. Chops. 

Chaft-blade. Under jaw-bone. 

Chancy. Fortunate, happy. 

Chap. A fellow. 

Chap. To strike. 

Chapman. A pedlar, a hawker. 


Cheswell. A cheese vat 

Chiel. Chield. A servant, a fellow, a stripling. 

Chimley. Chimney. A grate. 

Chuckie-stane. A small white pebble. 

Chuckie. A cant name for a hen. 

Clachan. Clauchanne. A small village bordering on the 

Highlands, in which there is a kirk. 
Claes. Claise. Clothes. 
Claith. Clayth. Cloth. 
Claiver. Clover. To talk idly or foolishly. 
Clap. To clap the head. To command, to flatter. 
Clargie. Clergy. Erudition. 
Clarty. Dirty, nasty. 
Clash. To talk idly, tittle-tattle. 
Clatter. To prattle, to act as a tell-tale. 
deck. To hatch. 

Clink. A smart short blow, money. 
Clips. Hooks for lifting pots off the fire. 
Clock. Clok. To cluck, to call chickens together. 
Clout. A cuff, a blow, a rag. 
Clung. Empty, applied to the stomach. 
Cockrlaird. A landholder who farms his estate. 
Cod. Pillow. 
Coft. Bought. 

Cog. A hollow wooden vessel for holding milk, broth, &c. 
Collie. Coley. The shepherd's dog. 
Common. To be in one's common. To be obliged to one. 
Couper. Coper. A dealer. 
Corbie. Corby. A raven. 
Corncraik. The landrail. 

Cosie. Cozie. Warm, comfortable, well sheltered. 
Cottar. Cotter. One who inhabits a cottage, the servants 

who live in the cottages belonging to a farm. 


Coucher. A coward. 

Cowp. To exchange, to barter, to overturn. 

Couple. A rafter. 

Cout. Cowt. A young horse. 

Cow. To poll the head, to clip short. 

Cow-quake. A disease in cattle, caused from dullness of 

the weather. 
Crab. Crabe. To fret. 
Crack. Crak. To talk freely, familiarly. 
Crap. The craw of a fowl, used ludicrously for the 

stomach of a man. 
Craw. To crow, a crow. 
Creil. Creel. An ozier basket: panniers are also called 


Creish. Creesh. Grease, to grease. 
Creeshy. Greasy. 
Crine. Cryne. To shrivel. 
Crooksaddle. Ladesaddle. A saddle for supporting 

Crowdie. Meal and water, or milk and water, stirred 

together in a cold state. 

Crummock. A short staff with a crooked head. 
Cunyie. Cunzie. Coin, silver. 
Culye. Culyie. To coax, to soothe, to curry favour. 
Cummer. Kimmer. A young girl, a gossip. 
Curcuddoch. A dance among children, cordial. 
Curple. Crupper. 
Cuttie. A short spoon. 

Daffin. Folly in general. 

Daft. Giddy, foolish, gay, wanton, &c. 

Daigh. Dough. 

Dainty. Pleasant, worthy. 


Darg. A day's work. 

Dander. To roam, to go about idly, to trifle one's time. 

Dang. Driven. 

Daud. A large piece. 

Daw. A drab. 

Daut. Dawt. To fondle, to caress. 

Deave. To deafen. 

Denk. Dink. Trim, neat. 

Dike. Dyke. A wall. 

Din. Noise. 

Dirk. Durk. A dagger. 

Dochter. Daughter. 

Docht or Dow. Could, availed. 

Dockin. Doken. A weed, dock. 

Dock. To cut short. 

Douge. Very. Douge weel. Very well. 

Doit. A small copper coin, formerly current. 

Dolour. Grief. 

Dominie. A schoolmaster, a pedagogue, a contemptuous 

name for a minister. 
Donnard. In a state of stupor. 
Donsie. Affectedly neat and trim. 
Dorty. Pettish. 
Doup. Dowp. The breech, the bottom, or extremity of 

any thing. Candledoup. 

Dour. Doure. Obstinate, stern, inflexible, bold. 
Dow. To be able; to wither; a dove. 
Draff. Grain ; the refuse of malt after brewing, &c. 
Drop. To drop ; a drop. 
Dree. To endure. 
Dreich. Dreagh. Slow. 
Dergy. Dregy. The funeral service j also, the meeting 

that takes place after the funeral. See the old song 


of the humble beggar, " who ranted and drank at his 

ain dregee." 
Drouth. Drought. 
Drumly. Muddy. 
Dwaum. Swoon. 

Dub. A small pool of rain water ; a gutter. 
Dud. Duddy. A rag ; ragged. 
Dumbie. Dummie. One who is dumb ; also applied to 

a written document. 

Dunt. A stroke, producing a hollow sound. 
Dut. A stupid person. 
Dwine. To pine. 

Ee. The eye. 

Earn. To coagulate. 

Ebb. Shallow. 

Eel. A nine-ee'd eel. A lamprey. 

Eel-backit. Having a black line on the back ; applied to 

dun horses. 
Efterhend. After. 
Eident. Diligent. 
Eik. Each ; an addition. 
Eild. Eld. To wax old, old, age, &c. 
Eir. Fear. 
Eith. Easy. 
Eithly. Easily. 
Elbock. Elbuck. Elbow. 
Eldin. Elding. Fuel of any kind. 
Elson. Elsyon. An awl. 
Een. Eyes. 
Eneuffh. Enough. 
Er. Air. Before. 
Erar. Earer. Sooner. 


Erd. Yerd. Yerth. The earth, (pronounced yird.) 

Eiry. Eerie. Affected with fear. 

Erse. The dialect of the Celtic ; Irish. 

Ettle. Ettil To aim, to attempt; a mark. 

Fae. Foe. 

Faik. To lower the price of a commodity. 
Fail-dyke. A wall built of sods. 
Fall-by. To be lost. 
Fallow. A fellow; to follow. 
Fawte. Fawt. Want. 
Fand. Found. 
Fash. Fasch. Trouble. 
Fauch. Faugh. To fallow ground. 
Faute. Fault. 
Faw. Fa. To fall. 
Fazart. Fazards. Cowards, cowardly. 
Fecht. Facht. Fought. Fight 

Feck. Fek. A term denoting both space, quantity, and 
number. The feck o' them. The most part of them. 
Feckless. Weak. Applied to the body. 
Fee. Fie. To hire; hire; wages. 
Feerie. Firey. Clever, nimble. 
Feech. Feigh. Interjection, Fy. 
Fell. Denoting degree, a&fell-weel, very well. 
Fell. To kiU. 

Fell. Hot, biting. Fell cheese. 
Fend. To shift. 
Ferlie. A wonder. 
Fern-year. The preceding year. 
Fettle. Fettil. Energy, power. 
Fyle. File. To defile. 
Filly. Filloch. A young mare. 


Findy. Full, substantial. 

Firlot. The fourth-part of a boll of corn. 

Fit. Feet. 

Flyte. To scold. 

Fley. To frighten. 

Fleich. Fleitch. To wheedle j flattery. 

Fleckker. Flichter. To flutter. 

Fluet. A smart blow. 

Flit. Flyt. To remove, to transport, to change. Most 

common as denoting removing residence. 
Flud. Flude. Flood, inundation. 
Flunkie. A livery servant. 
Fog. Fogue. Moss. 
Foolzie. Gold leaf. 
Foul Wet, rainy. 
Fow. Fu. Full, tipsy. 
Fra. Frae. From. 
Fraik. To flatter. Fracken. Flattery. 
Fraise. A cajoling discourse. 
Freit. Freet. A superstitious notion with respect to good 

or bad omens. 

Fremyt. Framet. Strange, foreign, acting like a stranger. 
Fry. Fray. A tumult. 
Fuff. To puff. 
Fulye. Fulzie. The dung of a town. 

Gae. To go. 

Gab. Mouth. 

Gab. Prating. 

Gaid. Went. 

Gay. Moderately. 

Gaislin. A young goose. 

Gaist. The soul, a ghost. 


Gate. Gait. A way, a road. 

Gait. A goat. 

Gang. To go. 

Gang. A walk for cattle. 

Gaunt. Gant. A yawn. 

Gar. Ger. To cause. 

Gartane. A garter. 

Gash. To talk in a confident way, shrewd in conver- 

Gaucy. Gawsy. Plump, jolly. 

Gaukie. Gawky. A foolish person. 

Gaw. To gall. 

Gawd. A goad. 

Geek. To sport. 

Gee. To tak the gee. To become pettish. 

Gayly. Geily. Geylies. Pretty well. 

Geyze. Geisin. Gizzen. To become leaky for want of 

Genty. Neat, elegantly formed. 

Gear. Geir. Money, goods, booty, warlike accoutre- 

Geit. Geat. Gett. A contemptuous designation for 
children ; a child. 

Gibbles. Tools of any kind. 

Gie. To give. 

Giff-Gaff. Mutual giving. 

Geyleynour. A deceiver. 

Gilpy. Gulpy. A roguish boy; frolicsome boy or girl. 

Gilt. Money. 

Gym. Gymie. Neat, spruce. 

Gimp. Jimp. Sum, delicate. 

Gimply. Scarcely. 

Gin. If. 


Gird. Gyrd. A hoop ; also a girr. 

Girdle. A circular plate of iron, for toasting cakes over 

the fire. 

Girn. To girn. To snarl. 

Girnall. Girnett. A large chest for holding meal. 
Gyte. To gang Gyte. To act extravagantly; kite. 
Glaikit. Light, giddy. 
Glamer. Glamour. The supposed influence of a charm 

on the eye, causing it to see objects differently from 

what they really are. 
Glar. Glaur. Mud, mire. 
Gled. The kite. 

Gleg. Keen, quick of perception. 
Gley. Glye. To squint. 
Gleid. A burning coal ; a spark of fire. 
Glent. Glint. To glance ; to get a glance at, 
Glisk, A transient view. 
Gloamin. Gloming. Twilight. 
Gloum. Gloom. To frown; a frown, 
Glowr. Glour. To stare. 
Glowring. Staring. 
Glunch. To pout. 
Gob. The mouth. 

Goldspink. Gowdspink. The goldfinch. 
Gouck. Golk. The cuckoo; a fool. 
Gomerell. A stupid fellow. 
Good. Gudin. Dung ; to manure. 
Gool Gule. Yellow." As yellow as a gule's foot." 
Gorby. A raven. 

Go-summer, or Go-o'-the-year. Latter end of the year. 
Goud. Gold. 
Gowpin. Goupin. Both hands held together in form of 

a round vessel. 


Gowan. The daisy. 

Graf. A grave. 

Graine. Grane. To groan. 

Graip. To grope. 

Graith. Apparatus of whatever kind. Horse graith. 

Horse harness. 
Gree. To agree. 
Green. Grein. To long. 
Greit. Greeting. To cry; the act of crying. 
Greiv. A greyhound. 
Grieve. To oversee ; an overseer. 
Gryce. A pig. 

Grist. Fee paid to a mill for grinding; thickness. 
Groats. Oats with the husk taken off. 
Groset. Groser. Grosert. A gooseberry. 
Groufe. Grufe. On Groufe. To be flat with our face 

to the earth. 
Grumly. Muddy. 
Grumph. To grunt. 
Grumphie. A vulgar name for a sow. 
Gude. Good. 
Guddame. Grandmother. 
Gudsher. A grandfather, (pronounced gutsher.) 
Guddle. To mangle, to haggle. 
Guff. A savour, a smell. 
Gully. A large knife. 
Gumption. Understanding. 
Gusehorn. Guissern. Gizzard. 
Gust. A relish. 
Gusty. Savoury. 
Gutters. Mire. Dirt. 
Gutty. Thick ; applied both to persons and things. 


Haur. A fog. 

Hack. A chop in the hands or feet. Muck-hack. A dung 

Hae. To have. 

Haffit. Haffet. The side of the head. 

Haggis. A pudding, made in a sheep's stomach, with oat- 
meal, suet, the heart, liver, and lungs, minced down and 
seasoned with salt, pepper, and onions, and boiled, for 
use. Burn's terms it " Great chieftain o' the pudding 

Hairst. Harvest. 

Hald. Hauld. Ahold. 

Hattacked. Halokat. Crazy. 

Holland. Hattan. Hallen. The division, partition be- 
tween the inner and outer doors. 

Hawse. The throat, the neck. 

Hamald. Haimald. Domestic. 

Hame. Home. 

Handsel. The first money received. 

Handsel-Monday. The first Monday of the year, O. S. 

Hain. Hane. To spare. 

Hantle. A considerable number. 

Hapity. Lame. 

Hark. To whisper. 

Harle. To trail ; to drag with force. 

Harnes. Harns. The brains. Harnpan. The skull. 

Hash. To hash ; a sloven, a foolish fellow. 

Hotch. To move by jerks. 

Hather. Heather. Heath. 

Haugh. Hauch. Low flat ground, on the banks of a 
river that is sometimes overflowed. . 

Haver. To talk foolishly. Haveril. One who talks 
habitually in a foolish manner. 


Havings. Havins. Good manners. 

Uaup. To turn to the right ; language used to horses in 

the yoke. 

Hawgh. To spit ; to force up phlegm. Eng. hawk. 
Hee. High. 

Head-lace. A ribbon for binding the head. 
Heal Heild. To conceal. 
Hearty. Cheerful; liberal. 
Hech. Hegh. To pant ; to breathe hard. 
Hecht. To promise ; to offer ; a promise. 
Hack. Heck. A rack for cattle. 
Heckle. To dress flax j a severe examination.. A heckling 

comb. A comb for dressing flax. 

Heer. Hier. Of yarn ; the sixth-part of a hesp or hank. 
Heft. To confine ; applied to a cow, when not milked for 

some time. 

Heis. Heeze. To lift up; aid; the act of swinging. 
Hem. Haims. A horse-collar. 
Hempy. A tricky wag; a rogue; one for whom hemp 

Bench. To throw stones, by bringing the hand alongst 

the haunch. 

Hen-pen. The dung of fowls. 

Harboory. Berbery . A dwelling-place; lodging; a mi- 
litary station. 

Here-yesterday. Here-yestreen. The day before yesterday. 
Herry. Hirrie. Harrie. To rob ; to pillage. 
Hersket. Heart-scald. Heartburn ; a disgust. 
Bet. Hot. 

Beugh. Heuch. The shaft of a coal-pit ; a steep hill 
Heddil. Hidlins. Secretly. 
By-Jinks. High Jinks. An amusing game, in which it 

was determined by the dice who should sustain some 


fictitious character, or repeat a certain number of loose 
verses, under penalty of either swallowing an additional 
bumper, or paying a small sum to the reckoning. 

Hilt and Hair. The whole of any thing. 

Himest. Humest. Uppermost. 

Hinder. Hinder-end. Lastj termination; extremity. 

Hint. Behind. 

Hip. To miss ; an omission. 

Hippen. A towel used for wrapping about the lower parts 
of children. 

Hird. Hyrde. One who attends cattle. 

Hire. To let ; reward. 

Hirple. To halt. 

HirseU. Hyrsull. A multitude ; a flock ; to move, rest- 
ing on the hams. 

Hissie. Hizzies. Housewife; women. 

Ho. Hoe. A stocking. 

Hoamed. Humphed. Having a fusty taste. 

Hobbel. To dance. 

Hod. Hode. To hide. 

Hodden-grey. Course cloth worn by the peasantry, the 
natural colour of the wool. 

Hogar. Hogger. Stockings without feet. 

Hogmanay. Hogmenay. The last day of the year. 

Holine. Holyn. The holly. 

Houk. Howk. To dig. 

Howe. Hollow. 

Hemyil. Hummil. Having no horns. 

Hoolie. Slow. 

Host. Hoist. To cough. 

Houff. A haunt. 

Hou. Hoe. A hood or coif; a hoe. 

Howdy. A midwife. 


Howtowdy. A hen that has never laid. 

Hudderin. Huderen. Slovenly and flabby in person, 

(pronounced hutherin.) 
Hullien. A sloven. 
Hum. A sham. 
Hunker. To squat down. 
Hurcheon. A hedgehog. 
Hurdles. Buttocks. 
Hurkle. To draw the body together. 
Hurle-barrow. A wheel-barrow. 
Hurlie-hacket. Sliding down a precipice. 

Jag. To pierce ; to rob. 

Jay-pyet. A jay. 

Jak. Jauk. To spend time idly. 

Jaudie. The stomach of a hog. 

Jawp. Jaup. A dash of water; a spot of mud or dirty 


Jee. To move ; to move to one side. 
Jeog. To creak. 
Jittet. A giddy girl. 
Ire-oe. A great-grand child. 
Jiffie. A moment 
Jimp. Neat, slender. 

Jink. To elude a person who tries to lay hold of one. 
Uka. Hk. Every, each. 
Ill-deedie. Mischievous. 
Ill-wittie. Ill-natured. 
Immick. An ant. 
Inby. Nearer an object. 
Inch. Inche. An island. 

Infield. Land continually cropped, receiving manure. 
Ingan. Onion. 


Ingle. Jngil. Fire. 

Intill. In. 

Inwith. Outwith. Inclining in or out. 

Jo. Joe. A sweetheart. 

Jocky-coat. A great-coat. 

Jock-to-leg. A folding knife. 

Jogill. To jog. 

Jog-trot. A slow motion on horseback; one's peculiar 

Jordeloo. A cry which servants in the higher stories in 
Edinburgh were wont to give after ten at night, when 
they threw over their dirty water from the windows. 
Tabitha Bramble describes it as meaning " The Lord 
have mercy upon you." 

Jo. Jot. To take notes. 

Jouk. Jock. Jowk. To bend ; to avoid a blow j to shift. 

Joundie. Jundie. To jog with the elbow. 

Jow. To move from side to side. 

Irk. To tire. 

Irn. Jrne. Iron. 

Ise. I shall. 

Isechokile. An isicle. 

Isittis. Embers. 

Ishie. The word used in calling a dog. 

Jugs. Jougs. A kind of pillory ; the criminal being fas- 
tened to the wall or post, by an iron collar. 

Junt. A large piece of any thing. 

Jupe. A female's bed-gown. 

Justicoat. A waistcoat with sleeves. 

Jutt. A term of reproach used to women. 

Kae. Kay. A jackdaw. 

Kail. Broth made of greens ; colewort. 


Kail-gully. A large knife for cutting down colewort. 

Kail-yard. Kitchen-garden. 

Kame. Kaim. To comb ; honey-comb. 

Kamester. A wool-comber. 

Kain. Kain-fowls. Kent or duty paid to landlords in 

Kiesart. A cheese-vat. 

Kar. Left-handed. 

Kavie. A species of crab. 

Kebbre. A rafter. 

Kebbuck. Cabback. A cheese. 

Ked. A sheep-louse. 

Keek. Keik. To look with a prying eye ; to peep. 

Keel-Ruddle. To mark with ruddle. 

Keelivin&pen. A black-lead pencil. 

Kytch. To toss. 

Kekkil. Kekle. To cackle. 

Kell. A woman's head-dress. 

Kelpie. Water-kelpie. The spirit of the waters, who is 
vulgarly believed to give previous intimation of the 
destruction of those who perish within its jurisdiction, 
by lights and voices, and even assist in drowning them. 

Keltie. Kelty. A bumper imposed for refusing to drink 
fair. Keltie' s-mends took its rise from Kelty, a collier 
village in Kinrosshire, whejp there is only inland 
consumpt. The coals were cheap, and when any per- 
son got the regular measure, they also received a quan- 
tity to the mends, which was frequently as much as 
the quantity purchased. 

Kemp. To strive. 

Kemper. One who strives ; generally applied to reapers. 

Ken. To know ; to be acquainted. 

Kent. A long staff. 


Kep. Kepp. To intercept. 

Keve. To top. 

Ky. Cows. 

Killogie. The fire place of the kiln. 

Kelt. Kilt. Philabeg. To kilt. To tuck up. 

King 's-hood. The second of four stomachs in a ruminat- 
ing- animal. 

Kink. A violent fit of coughing. Kink-host. Hooping- 

Kinnen. A rabbit. 

Kinch. Kinsch. The twist or doubling given to a cord or 

Kipper. To cure fish by means of salt and pepper. 

Kirk. The church. 

Kirn. To churn ; a churn. 

Kirn. The feast of harvest-home. 

Kist. Kyst. A chest. 

Kit. Hail kit. All taken together. 

Kitchen. Kitching. Solids as opposed to liquids ; any 
thing eaten with bread. 

Kyte. The belly. 

Kith. Kith or kin. Acquaintance or relations. 

Kythe. To show; to appear; 'to be manifest. 

Kittle. To litter; to tickle; itchy. 

Knab. One who possesses a small independence. 

Knacky. Quick at repartee. 

Knaggim. A disagreeable taste. 

Knap. Knop. To speak in the English manner; also a 
slight stroke. 

Knock. A clock. 

Knewel. Knoel. A wooden pin in the end of a halter to 
hold by. 

Knoit. A smart stroke. 


Knowe. A little hill. 

Knuse. Nuse. To press down with the knee. 

Kobil. A small boat. 

Kow. A goblin. 

Labour. To plough. 

Lachter. All the eggs laid by a fowl at one time. 

Lad. A young man-servant. 

Laddie. A boy. 

Lade. A load. Mill-Lade. The canal that carries 

water to a mill. 

Ladrone. Laithron. A lazy sloven, male or female. 
Ladnaire. Larder. 
Lave. Laive. The remainder. 
Lagabag. The hindmost 
Lagane. Lag en. The projecting part of the staves at 

the bottom af a cask. 
Layen-gird. A hoop securing the bottom of a wooden 

Laggery. Dirty; miry. 

Lay. The lay of a weaver's loom. To lay on. To 


Laid-sadill. A saddle for laying burdens on. 
Laigh. low ; not tall. 

Laiken. Laiky. Applied to ruin ; intermittent. 
Laip. Lape. To lap. 
Lair. Lore. A place for lying down; a stratum; also a 

Laird. A person of superior rank ; the proprietor of a 

property. Lairdship. A small landed estate. 
Laith. Unwilling; also loathsome. 
Lamb. To yean. 
Lemenry. Concubinage. 


Lameter. A cripple. 

Lammer. Amber. Lammer-beads. Amber-beads. 

Lamp. To take long steps. 

Land. A house consisting- of different stories, generally 

occupied by different tenants. 
Land-louper. One who frequently flits from one place 

to another. 
Lane. Alone; lone. 
Lang. To long. 
Langell. To entangle; the rope by which the fore and 

hinder feet of a cow are fastened together. 
Longer. Weariness. 
Langsyne. Long since. 
Langsome. Slow; tedious. 
Lap. Leaped. 

Lear. Lare. To teach ; to learn. 
Larich. Laverock. A lark. 
Lass. A sweetheart. 
Lawin. Lawing. Lanch. A tavern bill. 
Le. Lie. Lee. Shelter; warm. 
Law. A designation given to a hill or mount, either 

artificial or natural. 
Law-borrois. Law-borrows. The legal security which 

a man is obliged to give, that he will not do any injury 

to*another's person or property. 
Leather. To flog; to lash. 
Leche. To cure. Leiche. A physician. 
Lief if . Leefow. Lonely. Lie-fow-lane. Quite alone. 
Lee-lang. Live long. 

Leet. To nominate with a view to election. 
Leglin. Laiglin. A milk-pail. 
Leif. Beloved. As leif. As soon. 
Leil. Loyal; faithful. 


Leis-me. Leese-me. Leif-is-me. Dear is to me; expres- 
sive of strong affection. 

Leisch. Lesche. A lash ; to lash ; to scourge. 

Leister. Lister. A spear, with three or more prongs, for 
striking fish. 

Leit. Leet. To give a hint. Never leit. Never men- 

Lemane. Sweetheart, male or female. 

Len. To Lend. 

Lent. Lenit. Leaned ; also, abode. 

Lentryne. Lent. Still used to denote Spring. 

Lentrin-kail. Broth made without beef. 

Leip. Lepe. To par-boil ; to heat. 

To let on. To seem to observe any thing. 

To let wit. To make known. 

Letter-gae. Precentor of a church. 

To let gae. To raise the tune. 

Letteron. Lettrin. The desk in which the clerk or pre- 
centor officiates. 

Leugh. Leuch. Laughed. 

Levin. Lightning. 

Levingis. Remains. 

Lew. To make tepid. 

Liart. Lyart. Having grey hairs intermixed. 

Lycht. Merry. 

Lichtlie. To undervalue ; to slight, 

Lychtnis. Lungs. 

Lick. To strike; to beat; a blow. 

Lifey. Lively. 

Lift. To lift. To carry off by theft; also, the atmo- 

Lykly. Having a good appearance. 

Lyke-waik. The watching of a dead body. 


Lilt. To sing cheerfully ; a cheerful air. 

Limmar. Limmer. A scoundrel ; a loose woman. 

Lin. Lyn. A pool under a cataract. 

Lind. Lynd. A lime tree. 

Link. To walk smartly. 

Lingel. Lingle. A shoemaker's thread. 

Lingel-tair d. Applied to a woman whose clothes hang 

awkwardly, from the smallness of her shape below. 
Links. The windings of a river; also sandy barren ground. 
Lintwhite. A linnet. 
Lippie. The fourth part of a peck. 
Lippen. Lippin. To trust ; depend on for. 
Lirk. A rumple ; a crease ; a fold. 
Lisk. Leisk. The groin. 
Lit. Litt. Dye ; to dye ; to tinge. 
Litstar. A dyer. 

Lith. A joint ; to separate the joints from one another. 
Littleane. A child. 
Littlegood. Littlegudy. Suns-purge. 
Loan. Lone. Loaning. An opening between fields of 

corn for driving cattle homewards, or milking cows. 
Loch. Louch. A lake ; an arm of the sea. 
Lockman. The public executioner. 
Lome. Loom. Utensil of any kind. 
Loopie. Deceitful. 
Louching. Bowing down. 
Loitn. Lowne. Serene ; calm ; denoting the state of the 


Loun. Loon. Lown. A worthless person, male or female. 
Lown. A boy. 
Lourfs-cut. Lourfs-piece. The first cut of a cheese, or 

Launder. A swinging stroke; to beat with severe strokes. 


Loup. To leap ; a leap or spring-. 

Loupin-orirstane. A short flight of stone steps to assist in 

getting upon horseback : mostly used for females, or 

when riding double. 
Lourie. Name given to the fox. 
Lozen. A pane of glass. 
Luck. To have a good or bad fortune. 
Luckie. Lucky. A designation given to an elderly woman. 
Luckie-daddie. Grandfather. 
Luve. Love. 

Lufe. Loof. Laif. The palm of the hand. 
Lug. The ear. 
Luggie. Loggie. A small wooden vessel made of staves, 

for holding meat ; one of the staves, being continued, 

acts as a handle. 
Lunt. A match. 
Lum. Lumb. A chimney. 
Lunkit. Lukewarm. 
Lurdane. Lurdon. A worthless person ; conjoined with 


Lure. The udder of a cow ; properly when used as food. 
Lusty. Beautiful. 

Mae. More in number. 

Maad. Mawd. A plaid worn by shepherds. 

Magg. A cant word for a halfpenny. 

Maggs. A gratuity which servants expect from those to 
whom they drive any goods. 

Maiden. An instrument for beheading, similar to the 
guillotine; the last handful of corn cut down in harvest; 
that, being dressed with ribbons, resembles a young 
woman ; also, the honorary designation given to the 
oldest daughter of a farmer ; a bride's maid. 


May. A maid ; a virgin. 

Maik. A cant name for a halfpenny. 

Mail. Male. A spot in cloth from rust ; to stain ; rent 

paid, in whatever way, for a farm. 
Black-mail. A tax paid by heritors, for the security of 

their property, to those freebooters who were wont to 

make inroads on their estates. 
Main. Moan ; to bemoan. 

Mains. Maines. The farm attached to a mansion-house. 
Mair. More. 
Mairt. Winter provision ; a cow fed and killed for the 

Maist. Most. 

Maister. Master ; a landlord. 
Maister. Stale urine. 
Mak. Make. Mack. To compose poetry. 
Making. Poetry. 
Makar. Makkar. A poet. 
Malison. A curse. 

Mammie. A childish term for mother. 
Man. Maun. Must. 
Mank. Want. 

Manse. The parsonage-house. 
Mant. Mount. To stutter. 

Mantittis. Large shields used as a covert for archers. 
Mar. Hindrance. 

Marche. A landmark dividing properties. 
Mare. A hod or mason's trough. 
Mark. Mirk. Dark. 
Marrow. A companion; to equal. 
Marrowless. Without a match. 
Mashlin. Mashlie. Maishloch. Mixed grain. Ground 

Mashlum. Bannock. 


Mask. To infuse. 

Mauch. Mach. Mauk. A maggot. 

Mauchy. Dirty j filthy. 

Mauchtless. Feeble. 

Maukin. A hare. 

Maum. To soften and swell by means of water. 

Maumie. Mellow. 

Maw. To mow. 

Mawsie. A drab j a trollop. 

Maum. A basket. 

Mede. A meadow. 

Meel-an-bree. Brose. Aberdeenshire. 

Megirhie. A woollen cloth worn by old men in winter, 
for defending the head and throat. 

Mein. Mene. Common ; an attempt. 

Mease. Mese. Meis. To mitigate ; to become calm. 

Meith. Might. 

Meikle. Muckle. Great, respecting size ; much, respect- 
ing quantity. 

Mell. A maul; to mix. 

Melder. The quantity of meal ground at once. 

Melt. The spleen. 

Melteth. Meltith. A meal. (Meltet, North of Scotland.) 

Mends. Atonement ; over and above. 

Mean. Meen. To intend. 

Menoun. Menin. A minnow. 

Mense. Menck. Dignity; honour. 

Menseful. Manly. 

Menseless. Void of discretion. 

Mergh. Marrow. 

Merk. An ancient silver coin, value thirteen shillings and 
fourpence, Scots; equal to Is. \$d. Sterling. 

Merle. The blackbird. 


Merry -begotten. A bastard child. 

Merry-dancers. Aurora Borealis. 

Messan, Messin. A small dog. 

Mes. Mass. 

Met. Mett. Measure. 

Midden. A dunghill. Midden-hole. A dung-stead. 

Mid-man. A mediator. 

Mildrop. Foam that falls from a horse's mouth ; mucus 
from the nose j the drop at the end of an icicle. 

Milk. An annual holiday in a school, on which the 
scholars present a small gift to their master ; held in 
Lanark and Renfrewshire on the 1st of May : which 
has at first received its designation from milk, as form- 
ing the principal part of the entertainment. To milk 
the tether. To carry off the milk from any one's cows 
by milking a hair tether ; a superstition prevalent in 
many parts of Scotland. 

Milk-syth. Milsie. Milsey. Also Sey-dish. A milk- 

Mill. To steal. To mill one out of a thing. To procure 
it in an artful way. 

Mill. Mull. A snuff-box. 

Mim. Prim; proudish; affecting great moderation in 
eating or drinking. 

Mind. To remember j to recollect. Myndles. Forget- 

Minnie. Minny. Mother ; a fondling term. 

Mint. To aim ; to take aim. 

Mirk. Merk. Mark. Dark; darkness. 

Mirl. Murle. A crumb. 

Mirles. Measles. 

Mirlygoes. Merit/goes. One's eyes are said to be in the 
merlygoes, when they see indistinctly. 


Miss. Myss. A fault. Misbehadden. Unbecoming. 

Miscall. Misccf. To call names. 

Myschancy. Unlucky. 

Mischant. Wicked ; a worthless person. 

Mysell. Myself. 

Misfare. Misfayr. Mysfall. To miscarry. 

Mishanter. Misfortune. 

Misken. Not to know. 

Misleard. Misleird. Unmannerly. 

Mislippen. To disappoint ; to forget. 

Misluck. Misfortune. 

Mismarrow. To mismatch. 

Mismaggle. To spoil ; to disorder. 

Mister. Myster. Craft; art. To Mister. To need; to 
want ; to be necessary. 

Mistryst. To break an engagement. 

Mistrow. To suspect ; to mistrust. 

Mittens. Woollen gloves. 

Mittle. To hurt or wound. 

Mixtie-Maxtie. In a state of confusion. 

Mizzled. Having different colours. 

Mock. Mochy. Close ; misty ; moist ; also a heap. 

Mochre. Mokre. To heap up; to hoard; to work in 
the dark. 

Mode. Courage. Mody. Bold; also pensive; melan- 

Modywart. Moudiewort. A mole. 

Moggans. Long sleeves for a woman's arms ; hose with- 
out feet. 

Mother-naked. Stark-naked. 

Moy. Moye. Gentle ; mild ; affecting great moderation 
in eating or drinking. 

Mollygrant. Mollygrub. Whining; complaining. 


Moyen. Interest ; temporal substance. To Moyen. To 
accomplish by the use of means. 

Mony. Many. 

Moniplies. That part of the tripe of a beast which con- 
sists of many folds. 

MooL Mule. To crumble. 

Mooseweb. Mouseweb. The gossamer; improperly, the 
spider's web. 

Morn. Morne. Morrow. 

Mort. Died or dead ; fatal. 

Mort-cloth. The pall carried over the corpse at a funeral. 

Mortar. Coarse clay of a reddish colour. This clay as 
prepared for building. 

Mortar-stone. A stone hollowed out; formerly used as a 
mortar for preparing barley, by separating it from the 

Mortify. To give in mortmain. 

Mosine. Mosine-hole. The touchhole of a piece of ord- 

Moss. A marshy place. 

Moss-troopers. Banditti who inhabited the marshy lands 
of Liddisdale, and subsisted chiefly by rapine. 

Mote. A little hill or barrow. To mote. To pick motes 
out of any thing. 

Mother-wit. Common sense ; discretion. 

Mouly-heels. Chilblains. 

Mouligh. To whimper; to whine. 

Moup. Moop. To nibble ; to mump. 

Mouse. The bulb of flesh on the extremity of a shank of 

Mout. To moult. To rnout awa. To take away piece- 

Mouter. To take multure for grinding corn. 


Mow. The mouth. Mow. Moue. A heap. 

Mowch. A spy ; an eave-dropper ; also a motion. 

Mozy. Dark in complexion. 

Muck. To carry out dung ; dung. 

Muddle. To overthrow easily ; to be busy at work of a 

trivial kind, while making little progress. 
Mudge. To stir ; to budge. 
Muffles. Muffities. Mittens without fingers, either 

leather or worsted. 
Mools. Muldes. Pulverised earth, in general ; the earth 

of the grave ; the dust of the dead. 
Mull. Maoil. A promontory ; also a mule. 
Mutter. To crumble. 

Multure. Mouter. The fee for grinding corn. 
Mump. To hint; to aim at. 
Mun. Must, 

Munks. A halter for a horse. Fife. 
Mure. Muir. A heath ; a flat covered with heath. 
Mure-burn. The burning of heath. 
Mureland. Of or belonging to heathy ground. 
Marian. A round narrow-mouthed basket. 
Murriow. Murriown. A helmet. 
Mush. One who goes between a lover and his mistress. 


Muslin-kail. Broth made with water, barley, and greens. 
Must. Mouldiness. Musk. Hair powder. 
Mutch. A head-dress for a female 
Mutchkin. A measure equal to an English pint. 

Na. Nae. Ne. No; not. 

Na. Nae. Neither. 

Nab. To strike. 

Nachet. Nacket. An insignificant person. 


Naes. Is not. 

Naig. A riding horse. 

Nail. Aff at the nail. Destitute of any regard to pro- 
priety of conduct. 

Naysay. Na-say. A refusal. 

Naiprie. Table linen. 

Naithly. Industriously. 

None. None. 

Nappie. Brittle. 

Nar. Nigher. 

Naething. Nothing. 

Near-gawn. Near-be-gawn. Niggardly. 

Nease. The nose. 

Neb. The nose, ludicrously used ; the beak of a fool. 

Nece. A grand-daughter. 

Neerdoweil. One whose conduct gives reason to think 
he will never do well. 

Neese. To sneese. 

Neffit. A pigmy. 

Neide. Necessity. 

Neid-fyre. Fire produced by the friction of two pieces of 

Neidnail. To fasten by clenched nails. 

Neigre. A term of reproach, borrowed from Fr. negre, 
a negro. 

Neirs. The kidneys. 

Nets. Nes. The nose. 

Neist. Niest. Neyst. Next; nighest. 

Neive. Neif. The fist. 

Neivefu\ A handful. 

Neiffer. Niffer. Nieffer. To barter; properly, to ex- 
change what is held in one fist, for what is held in 


Nephoy. Nevoy. Nephew. A grand-son; a great-grand- 
son ; posterity though remote ; a brother's or sister's 

Ner. Nere. Near. Nerehand. Nearly. 

Ner-sichtet. Short-sighted. 

Nes. A promontory. 

Neth. Below. 

Netheles. Nevertheless. 

Neucheld. With calf. 

Neuchal. A cow newly calved. 

Nevell. To strike with the fist; a blow with the fist. 

Newlingis. Newly. 

Nyaff. To yelp ; to bark. Applied to the pert chat of a 
saucy child, or diminutive person. 

Nicher. Neigher. To neigh; to laugh in a ridiculous 

Nychtyd. Drew to night ; benighted. 

Nickstick. A tally. 

Nicket. Notched. 

Nicknack. A gim-crack. 

Nicneven. Mother-witch. 

Niddle. To trifle with the fingers. 

Niffnaffs. Small articles of little value. 

Nignayes. Nignyes. Gim-cracks. 

Nip. Nip up. Nip awa. To carry off cleverly by theft. 

Nippit. Niggardly. 

Nirl. A crumb. Nirled. Stunted. Applied to trees. 

Nirles. A species of measles. 

Nisbit. The iron that passes across the nose of a horse, 
and joins the branks together. 

Nyte. Nnoit. To strike smartly. 

Nither. Nidder. Nether. 

Nix. Nose. 


Nodge. To strike with the knuckles. 

Nolt. Nowt. Black cattle. 

Nor. Than. 

Nories. Whims. 

Norlan. Norlin. Belonging to the north. 

Notour. Nottour. Notorious. 

Nouvettes. News. 

Noy. To annoy. 

Nule-kneed. Knock-kneed. 

Nuse. To knead. 

Oam. Steam, vapour. 
Obfusque. To darken. 
Observe. A remark. 
Odoure. Nastiness. 
Oe. O. Oye. A grandson. 
Overcome. The overplus. 
Oil-of-Hazel. A sound drubbing. 
Oyl-dolie. Oil of olives. 
Olye. Ulye. Oil 
Oulie-pig. Oil vessel. 
Olite. Olight. Nimble; active. 
Omast. Uppermost. 

Omne-gatherum. A miscellaneous collection ; a medley. 
Oncome. A fall of rain or snow. 

Onding. A fall of rain or snow, but especially the latter. 
Ony. Any. 

On-waiter.' One who waits patiently. 
Oo. Wool. Aw ae oo. All to the same purpose. 
Oon. Une. An oven. 

Oop. Oup. Wup. To bind with a thread or cord. 
Oorie. Ourie. Owrie. Chill; bleak; having the sen- 
sation of cold ; tendency to shivering. 


Or. Before ; ere. 

Or. Lest. 

Ord. A steep hill or mountain. 

Ore. Grace; favour. 

Orlege. A clock ; a dial. 

Orlang. A complete year. 

Orntren. The repast taken between dinner and supper. 

Orp. To fret; to chide habitually. 

Orpit. Proud; fretful. 

Ora. Orrow. Not matched; what may be viewed as 

an overplus ; not engaged. 
Orrows. Things that are supernumerary. 
Ort. To throw aside provender. 
Osnaburghs. Coarse linen cloth manufactured in Angus, 

from its resemblance to that which is manufactured at 

Osnaburgh in Germany. 
Ostler. An innkeeper. 
Ostre. An inn. 
Othirane. Either. 
Ouer. Ouir Ovir. Upper; over. 
Ouerhede. Without distinction ; in the gross. 
Ouermest. The highest. 
Ouer-raucht. Overtook. 
Oureman. Oversman. A supreme ruler. 
Ougsum. Horrible. 

Oure. Owre. Over; beyond. ^ 

Ourcome. Overplus. 

Ourgae. Ourgang. To overrun; to master. 
Ourloup. An occasional trespass of cattle. 
Ourtane. Overtaken. 
Ourthort. Athort. Athwart. 
Ourword. Any word frequently repeated. 
Ousen. Owsen. Oxen. 


Outing. A vent for commodities. 

Out-about. Out of doors. 

Out-by. Abroad; without. 

Out-breaking. An eruption on the skin. 

Outcast. A quarrel. 

Outcome. Egress; product. 

Outfield. Arable land, which is not manured, but con- 
stantly cropped. 

Outgait. Outgate. A way for egress. 

Outhorne. A horn blown for summoning the lieges to 
attend the king-. 

Outhouse. An office-house. 

Out-laik. Out-lack. The superabundant quantity in 
weight and measure. 

Out. To issue. 

Outler. Not housed ; a beast that lies without. 

Out-ihe-gait. Honest; one who keeps the straight road. 

Out-our. Out-ower. Over ; out from any place. 

Outshot. A projection. 

Outspoken. Given to freedom of speech. 

Outwaile. Outwyle. Refuse. 

Outwith. Abroad; outwards. 

Owkly. Weekly. 

Owt. Exterior. 

Oxter. Armpit. 

Paal. Paale. A post. 
Pab. Pab-tow. The refuse of flax. 
Pack. Intimate. 

Packhouse. A warehouse for receiving goods. 
Paddock-hair. The down that covers unfledged birds. 
Paddock-rude. Paddock-gender. The spawn of frogs; 
also, Paddock-ride. Ramsay. 


Paddock-pipes. Marsh horse-tail. 
Paddock-stool. The Agaricus in general. 
Pade. A toad ; apparently a frog. Wyntown. 
Pajfle. A small possession of land. 
Pay. Satisfaction; drubbing. 
Paik. Paak. To beat; drubbing. 

Paikie. A piece of double skin used for defending the 
thighs from the stroke of the flauchter spade, by those 
who cast divots or turfs. 
Paiker. Calsay-paiker. A street-walker. 
Paikit-like. Having the appearance of a trull. 
Pailin. Patting. A fence made of stakes. 
Painches. Tripe. 

Paip. Thistledown; also a cherry-stone; the seed of fruit. 
Pais. Pase. To poise ; retribution. 
Pase. Pasch. Easter. 
Pays-eggs. Eggs dyed various colours, given to children 

to amuse themselves with at the time of Easter. 
Palaver. Idle talk. 
Pale. An instrument used for trying the quality of cheese, 

ham, butter, &c. 
Palyard. A lecher ; a rascal. 
Pallatt. A game of children. 
Pallet. A ball; a sheep's skin not dressed. 
Pandoor. A large oyster caught at the doors of salt-pans. 
Pang. To throng ; to cram in general 
Pans. The timbers of a house, extending between the 

couples, parallel to the walls ; laths ; shingles. 
Pause. Covering for the knee. 
Papejay. Papingay. Papingoe. A parrot; a wooden 

bird which archers in the West shoot at, as a mark. 
Popple. To bubble up like water; the effect of heat on 
any fat substance roasted. 


Pap of the Hass. The uvula. 

Paregale. Parigal. Completely equal. 

Park. To perch ; a wood, as Fir Park. 

Parle. Speech. 

Parpane. Perpen. A wall in general, or a partition. 

Par tan. Common sea crab. 

Partrik. Pairtrick. A partridge. 

Pash. The head ; a ludicrous term. 

Pat. Put. 

Path. Peth. A steep narrow way. Pathit. Paved. 

Patrell. Defence for the neck of a war-horse. 

Patron. A pattern. 

Pattle. Fettle. A stick or small spade, with which the 

ploughman clears away the earth that adheres to the 

plough ; also a plough-spade 
Pauchtie. Haughty. 

Pavie. Paw. Lively motion ; fantastic air. 
Pauis. Pavis. A large shield used in sieges. 
Pauhy. Pawky. Sly; artM. Pawky Pate. Sly Peter. 
Paut. To paw ; a stroke with the forefoot. 
Pawn. Pawn of a bed. A narrow curtain fixed to the 

roof, or lower part of a bed. 
Pawmer. One who goes from place to place, making a 

shabby appearance. 

Pawmie. A stroke on the hand with the ferula. 
Pearie. A pegtop, resembling a pear. 
Pearlin. Pearling. A species of thread lace. 
Peatstane. The corner stone at the top of the wall of a 


Peek. Peach. To puff; to pant ; to breathe hard. 
Peel. A place of strength. 

Peelie. Thin; meagre. Peelie-wallie. Thin; sickly. 
Peer. To equal; match. 


Peerie. Small. Peeriewirrie. Very small. 

Peesweip. Peeweip. A lapwing. 

Peg. To go off; a stroke. 

Pettour. Peilour. A thief. 

Peltry. Paltrie. Vile trash. 

Pench. Penche. Belly-penches. Common name for tripe. 

Pend. An arch. 

Pendice of a buckle. That which receives the one latchet, 

before the shoe is tightened by the other. Tongue 

andpendice of a buckle. 

Pendicle. A small piece of ground; an inferior tenant. 
Penny-wedding. Penny-brydal. A wedding at which the 

guest contributes money for his entertainment. 
Penny-dog. A dog that constantly follows his master. 
Penny-maill. Rent paid in money; a small sum paid as 

acknowledgment of superiority. 
Penny-stane. A flat stone used as a quoit. 
Pennywheep. Small beer. 
Pennon. A small banner. 

Pensy. Pensie. Spruce ; self-conceited in appearance. 
Pentland. The middle part of Scotland. 
Penty. To fillip ; a fillip. 
Peep. Pepe. The chirp of a bird. 
Perde. Verily. 
Perdews. The forlorn hope. 
Perfite. Perfect 
Perjink. Precise. 
Perlie. The little finger. 
Permusted. Scented. 
Pernickitie. Precise in trifles. 
Pershittie. Precise; prim. 
Pet. Pettle. To fondle ; to treat as a pet. 
Pyat. Pyot. The magpie. 


Pibroch. A Highland air, suited to the particular passion 
which the musician would either excite or assuage; 
generally applied to martial music. 

Pinkie. The weakest kind of table beer; the smallest 
candle that is made. 

Pinner. A female head-dress, having lappets pinned to 
the temples reaching down to the breast, and fastened 

Pipes. To tune one's pipes. To cry. 

Pirlie-pig. Pinner-pig. A small circular earthen vessel, 
which has no opening save at the top, no larger than 
to receive a halfpenny ; used by children for keeping 
their money. 

Pirn. A quill, or reed; yarn wound on a reed for a 
weaver's shuttle; also, the pirn of a spinning-wheel; 
pirn of a fishing rod. 

Pirnie. Having unequal threads of different colours. 

Pirr. A gentle breeze. 

Pirzie. Conceited. 

Pit and gallows. A privilege conferred on a baron, accor- 
ding to old laws, having on his ground a pit for drown- 
ing women, and a gallows for hanging men, convicted 
of theft. Bellenden. 

Place. The mansion-house on an estate ; a castle. 

Placeboe. A parasite. 

Plack. Plak. A billon coin ; copper coin formerly current, 
equal to the third-part of an English penny. 

Plackless. Moneyless. 

Plaid. An outer loose weed, worn by Highlanders. 

Plaiden. Plaiding. Coarse woollen cloth, tweeled. 

Plainstanes. The pavement. 

Plaint. To complain. 

Playokis. Playfairs. Toys; play-things. 


Plane-tree. The maple. 

Plash. To make a noise by dashing water; to splash; 

also, a heavy fall of rain. 

Plat. Plet. To plait; flat; level; apian; a dash. 
Plede. Pleid. Pleyd. Debate. 
Pledge. To invite to drink, by promising to take the cup 

after another. 

Plenys. Plenish. To furnish a house ; to stock a farm. 
Pleuch. Pleugh. A plough. 
Pleugh-gate. Pleugh-gang. As much land as can be 

properly tilled with one plough. 

Pleuch-irnes. The iron instruments belonging to a plough. 
Plisky. A trick, properly of a mischievous kind. 
Ploy. A harmless frolic. 
Plot. To scald. 
Plotcock. The devil. 
Plout. A heavy shower of rain. 
Plouter. To make a noise among water ; engaged at wet 

dirty work. 

Pluffy. Flabby; chubby. 
Pluke. Plouk. A pimple. 
Plume-dames. A damascene plumb. 
Plump. A heavy shower. 
Plunk. To plump ; to play the truant. 
Pock-arrs. Marks left by the small-pox. 
Pockmanteau. Literally, a cloakbag. 
Pock-shakings. The youngest child of a family. 
Podle. A tadpole. 
Poind. Poynd. To distrain. 

Polite-cock. Pounie-cock. Bubbly Jock. A turkey. 
Poortith. Poverty. 
Por. A thrust with a sword. 
Porridge. Hasty-pudding. 


Port-youl. To sing port-youl. To cry. 

Portioner. One who possesses part of a property which 
has been originally divided among co-heirs. 

Pose. A secret hoard of money. 

Poss. Pouss. To push. Pouss one 's fortune. To push 
one's fortune. 

Pot. To stew in a pot ; moss, hole from whence peats 
have been dug. 

Pottingar. An apothecary. 

Pourin. A small quantity of any liquid. 

Pout. Pouter. To poke; to stir with a long instrument. 

Pouzle. To trifle. 

Pow. The head ; a slow-moving rivulet, in flat lands. 

Powsowdie. Sheep's-head broth ; milk and meal boiled 

Prop. A mark. To prap. To set up as a mark. 

Prat. Pratt. A trick. 

Prin. Prene. A pin made of wire. 

Prein-cod. A pin-cushion. 

Prent. To print ; print. 

Pretty. Small 

Prick. A wooden skewer securing the end of a gut con- 
taining a pudding ; to fasten by a wooden skewer. 

Prickmedainty. One who is finical in dress or carriage. 

Pridefow. Proud. 

Prig. To haggle ; to importune. 

Primsie. Demure; precise. 

Prinkle. To thrill; to tingle. 

Prints. Newspapers. 

Prize up. To force open a lock. 

Prog. Prague. A sharp point. 

Propyne. Propine. A present; to present a cup to 


Propone. To propose. 

Provost. The mayor of a royal burgh. 

Prunyie. To trim. 

Ptarmigan. White game. 

Public-house. An inn j a tavern. 

Pud. A fondling designation for a child. 

Puddill. A pedlar's pack or wallet. 

Puddingfillar. A glutton. 

Pug. A pull ; to pull. 

Pulder. Powder; dust. 

Pullisee. Pullishee. A pulley. 

Pultring. Rutting. Poultre. A horse-colt. 

Pump. To break wind softly behind. 

Punch. To jog with the elbow. 

Pundie. A small tin mug for heating liquids, originally 

containing a pound weight of water. 
Puir. Poor. 
Purfled. Short-winded. 
Purl. Dung of sheep or horses. 

Purpose-like. Apparently well qualified for any business. 
Pursy. Short-breathed and fat. 
Purs-pyk. A pickpocket. 
Put. To push with the head or horns. 
Put. Putt. A thrust ; a push j to throw a heavy stone 


Quaich. Quegh. A small shallow drinking-cup with 

two ears. 

Quaking ash. The asp or aspen. 
Quat. To quit. 
Queet. The ancle. Aberd. 
Quey. A cow of two years old ; the female calf. 
Queyn. Quean. A young woman. 


Queme. To fit exactly. 

Quent. Familiar; acquainted. 

Quhayng. Whang. A thong. 

Quhang. Whang. To flog ; to cut in large slices. 

Quhaup. Quhaap. A curlew; a pod in the earliest state. 

Quhene. Wheen. A small quantity. 

Quhemele. Whommel. To turn upside down. 

Quhew. To whiz ; to whistle. 

Quhid. Whud. To whisk ; to move nimbly ; a lie. 

Quhig. Whig. The sour part of cream, that separates 

from the rest. 
Quhiles. At times. 
Quhilk. Which; who. 
Quhill. Until. 

Quhirr. The sound of an obj ect moving, (sounded whurr.) 
Quhyte. Wheat. To cut with a kuife. 
Quicken. Couch-grass. 
Quod. Quoth; said. 

Rabil. A disorderly train. 

Rack. A frame fixed to the wall for holding plates. 

Rackel Rackle. Rash; fearless. 

Racket. A dress frock for a child ; a smart stroke. 

Rackmereesle. Higgledy-piggeldy. Fife. Perth. 

Rachstick. A stick used for twisting ropes. 

Rad. Counsel. 

Raid. An invasion; an attack by violence. 

Rae. A roe. 

Ray. To rally ; to reproach. 

Ragman 1 s row, or roll. A collection of those deeds by 
which the nobility and gentry of Scotland were con- 
strained to subscribe allegiance to Edward 1. of Eng- 
land, 1296. 


Ragweed. Ragwort. 

Ray. Ree. Mad; wild; tipsy. 

Raik. Rayk. Rake. Extent of a course or walk. Hence, 

sheep-raik, cattle-raik. 
Raik. Rdk. Rack. Care; reckoning. 
Raill. To jest. 
Raing. To rank up. 
Raip. Rape. A rope. 
Rair. A roar. 
Raise. Raize. To excite. 
Raith. Reath. The fourth-part of a year. 
Raith. Sudden; quickly. 
Rak. Rawk. Rook. A thick mist or fog. 
Rack. A shock ; a blow. 
Rake. Wreck. 
Rakket. Uncertain. 
Ramagiechan. A large raw-boned person, speaking and 

acting heedlessly. 

Rumfeezled. Fatigued; exhausted. 
Rumgunshoch. Rugged. Kelly. 
Rammel. Branchy ; mixed grain. 
Rammer. A ramrod. 
Ramp. To be rompish; riotous. 
Rampage. To prance about with fury. 
Ram-rais. Ram-race. The race a person takes before 

making a leap. 

Ramsh. Harsh to the taste ; strong ; robust. 
Ram-stam. Forward; thoughtless. 
Ranee. To prop with a stake ; to fasten the door with a 

Randy. Scolding; quarrelsome. Randie-begaar. One 

who exacts alms by threatening. 
Rane. To cry the same thing over and over. 


Raing. A row ; a rank. 

Rantle-tree. Handle-tree. The beam that reaches across 
the chimney on which the crook is suspended. 

Rap. A cheat. In a rap. Immediately ; quick. 

Raplach. Coarse woollen cloth, homespun, and not dyed. 

Rapple. To do work in a hurried and imperfect manner. 

Rare. Rair. To roar ; a roar. 

Rasps. Raspberries. 

Rat. Ratt. To scratch ; a cart-rut ; also wart. 

Rattlescutt. One who talks much without thinking. 

Ration. A rat. 

Rauchan. A plaid worn by men ; any thing gray. 

Raucht. Reached. 

Rave. To take by violence. 

Ravelled. A ravelled hesp. A troublesome or intricate 

Raucle. Rash. 

Raun. Rawn. Roe of fish. 

Rauns. The beard of barley. 

Raw. Damp and chill; a row; a rank. 

Rax. To extend the limbs ; to stretch. 

Readily. Probably. 

Ream. Reyme. To cream ; cream. 

Rebaldale. The rabble. 

Rebald. A low worthless fellow ; vulgar. 

Recountir. To encounter. 

Red. Rede. To counsel. 

Red. To disentangle. Reder. One who endeavours to 
settle a dispute. 

Redd. Clearance ; to put in order. 

Redding-stroke. A stroke one often receives in endeavour- 
ing to separate two fighting. 

Redcap. A name given by the vulgar to a domestic spirit. 


Red land. Ground turned by the plough. 

Ree. Half drunk ; a small riddle. 

Reefort. Ryfart. A radish. 

Reekim. A smart stroke. 

Reel-rail. Topsy-turvy. 

Reel-tree. Revel-tree. The piece of wood which the 

ox's stake is fixed to. 

Reesin. A reesinfire. A fire that burns well. 
Reid. Rede. The fourth stomach of a calf, used for runnet. 
Reid-wod. Red-wod. In a violent rage. 
Reif. Refe. An eruption on the skin. 
Reaver. A robber. 

Reik. To reach ; to dress out ; also to smoke. 
Reird. Rerde. To make a loud noise ; to break wind. 
Reissil. To make a loud clattering noise ; a blow ; to 

beat soundly. 

Reist. To dry by heat ; to become restive. 
Rendal. Rennal. Run-dale. A division of land equivalent 

to run-rig. 
Renye. A rein. 

Renk. Rynk. Rink. A course; a course in the diversion 
of curling. 

Resett. To harbour; to receive stolen goods. 

Resp. Risp. To make a noise like that of a file. 

Restyn. To rest. 

Resting-chair. A long arm chair like a settee, used in 
farm houses. Perth. 

Renk. Atmosphere. 

Rew. To repent. 

Reuth. Cause for repentance. 

Riach. Dun; brindled. 

Rib. To rib land. To give it half a ploughing. 

Ribband. St. Johnstone's Ribband. A halter. 


Rice, twigs j branches. 

Rich. To become rich. 

Richt. To put to rights. 

Rickle. A heap of stones. A rickle of bones. A thin 

Riff-raff. The rabble. 

Rift. To belch. 

Rig. A frolic ; a tumult. 

Rig. Rigg. Rygen. The back. 

Riglan. An animal half castrated. 

Rigwiddie. The rope or chain that supports the cart on 
the horse's back. 

Rin. To run. 

Rind. Rynde. To dissolve any fat substance. 

Ring. To reign ; a circular fort. 

Ringle-ee'd. Wall eyed. 

Rink. Rynk. A strong man. 

Rino. Ready money. 

Rip. Ripp. A handful of corn on the straw. 

Rip. Any thing base or useless; a cheat. 

Ripe. Rype. To search. 

Rippet. Rippat. The noise of great mirth. 

Ripple. To separate the seed of flax from the stalks. 

Rippling-kame. A flax comb. 

Risp. To rub with a file. 

Ritmaster. A captain of horse. 

Rive. A rent or tear. 

Rizzer-berries. Rizards. Currants. 

Rocking. A friendly visit, on which neighbours meet, 
during the moonlight of winter or spring, and spend 
the night alternately in one another's houses. Sup- 
posed to have its name from the girls bringing their 
rocks or distaffs with them. Ayrshire. 


Rocklay. Rokely. A short cloak. 

Roden-tree. The mountain ash. Roun-tree. 

Royet. Royit. Wild ; romping ; given to sport 

Roip. To sell by auction. 

Roist. A roost. 

Rottochin. Lively; free spoken. Rallack. To romp. 

Rome-rakaris. Those who pretend to bring relics from 


Rone. Sheep's-skin dressed so as to appear like goafs- 

Rone. A spout for carrying water from the roof. 
Roof-tree. The beam which forms the angle of the roof. 
Rook. A sort of uproar. 
Roose. To extoL 
Roose-fish. To throw a large quantity of salt among 

fish, allowing them to lie in that state for some time, 

before salting. 
Roost. The inner roof of a cottage, composed of spars 

reaching from one wall to the other, where the hens 


Roove. Ruve. To rivet ; to clinch. 
Ropeen. A hoarse cry. 
Rose. The erysipelas, a disease. 
Roset. Rosin. 
Rosignell. A nightingale. 
Rotcoll. Horse-raddish. 
Rote. An instrument ; hurdygurdy. 
Rouch. Rough. Hoarse ; plentiful ; immoral conduct. 
Roudes. Haggard; an old, wrinkled, ill-natured woman. 
Rove. To be in delirium ; to card wool into flakes, and 

roll it. 

Round. Abundant. 
Roung. A cudgel. 


Roup. Hoarseness ; the disease of croup. 

Rousty. Rusty. 

Rowt. The act of bellowing. 

Routh. Rowth. Plenty. 

Routhless. Profane. Fife. 

Row. To roll. 

Rowan. A flake of wool. 

Rowme. To roam ; to clear ; space ; large. 

Rude. Strong; stout. 

Rude. Spawn; the cross. 

Ruff. To roll a drum. 

Ruffy. A wick clogged with tallow. 

Rug. To pull roughly. 

Rullion. A shoe made of untanned leather; a cot 

made masculine woman. Fife. 
Rum. An excellent fellow : cant. 
Rumblegarie. Disorderly. 
Rummilgumtion. Common sense. 
Rumil. Rumle. To make a noise. 
Rumple. Rumpill. The rump. 
Runches. Wild mustard. 
Rung. Any long piece of wood. 
Runkle. To crease ; to crumple ; wrinkle. 
Runt. An old cow. 
Rushie. A broil. Fife. 

Sad. Grave; heavy; to become solid; to make sad. 

Saebiens. Since, or so. 

Soft. Soft; pleasant; to mollify. 

Saikless. Guiltless. 

Sain. To bless. 

Saip. Soap. 

Sair. Painful; a sore; a wound. 


Sairly. Sorely. 

Sake. Blame; guilt. 

Saelike. Similar ; of the same kind. 

Salerife. Saleable. 

Samin. The same. 

Sand-blind. Having a weakness of sight, which often 

accompanies a fair person. 
Sang. Song. 

Sanguane. Having the colour of blood. 
Sans. Without. 

Sap. Any kind of liquid taken for aliment 
Sar. To vex; to galL 
Sare. A sore ; to savour. 
Sary, Sairy. Sorrowful; wretched; poor. 
Sark. A shirt. 

Sarking. Cloth designed for shirts. 
Sauch. Saugh. The willow. 
Saucht. Tranquility; peace; ease; reconciled. 
Saul'. ThesouL 
Saut. Salt. 

Saw. Sawe. A proverb ; a saying ; to sow. 
Sawr. Sour. Sare. To savour ; smell. 
Sax. S\x.Saztie. Sixty. 
Scad. Any colour seen by reflection. 
Scadlips. Thin broth. 
Scaff. Food of any kind. 
Scalp. Scaivp. Land of which the soil is thin ; a bed 

of oysters or muscles. 
Scam. To scorch. 
Scamp. A cheat ; a swindler. 
Seance. Skance. To reflect on ; a cursory calculation ; 

a rapid sketch in conversation. 
Scant. Scarcity. 


Scape. A bee-hive. 

Scar. Scaur. Skair. A bare place on the side of a 

steep hill, from which the sward has been washed 

down by rain. 
Scart. To scratch ; to scrape money together ; to scrape 

a dish with a spoon. 
Scart. A puny person. 

Schank. The leg; the stalk of an herb ; stockings. 
Schank. To travel on foot. 
Schaw. To show. 

Schaw. Schagh. A wood ; a grove ; shade ; covert. 
Sched. To divide; to divide the hair in combing. 
Schene. Schyne. Shining; bright; beautiful. 
Schel. Shel. Shed for sheep. 
Schent. Confounded; overcome; degraded. 
Schent. To destroy ; to go to ruin. 
Schill. Shrill; also chill. 
Schire. To pour off the thinner or lighter part of any 

Sche. She. 

Schog. To jog; to move backwards and forwards. 
Schoggle. To shake ; to dangle. 
Schone. Shoes. 
Schortsum. Cheerful, 
Schrew. A worthless person ; to curse. 
Schught. Shught. Sunk; covered. 
Schule. Shool A shovel. 
Schute. push. 
Sclaite. Sklait. Slate. 
Sclatch. To huddle up. 
Sclater. The wood-louse. 
Sclent. To slop ; to move obliquely. 
Sclays. A slice. 


Scob. To sew clumsily ; A splint. 

Scob-seibows. Onions allowed to remain in the ground 
during" winter. 

Scomfice. To suffocate. 

Scon. A cake. 

Scorning. To rally a young woman, by pretending that 
such a one is in suit of her. 

Scour. To drink off; the diarrhoea, whether in man or 

Scout. To pour forth any liquid forcibly; to fly off 

Scouth. Abundance ; liberty to range. 

Scowder. To scorch; to toast hastily, so as to burn 

Scoury. Scourie. Shabby in appearance. 

Scowrie. A scurvy fellow. 

Scrab. A crab-apple. 

Scroll. To crawl. 

Scrapie. A miser. 

Screed. Skreed. To rend ; to talk frequently and face- 
tiously ; a harangue ; a hard bout at drinking. 

Screigh. Skreigh. To shrink. 

Scrieve. To move swiftly ; to scrape any thing written ; 
to talk familiarly in continuation. 

Serif t. To rehearse from memory. 

Scrimp. Shrimp. To straiten as to food. Scanty. 

Scrog. A stunted shrub. 

Scroofe. Scrufe. A thin crust of any kind. 

Scud. To beat with a rod ; to beat with the open hand. 

Scug. To shelter. 

Scutle. To pour from one vessel to another; often inclu- 
ding the idea of spilling. 

Seam. The work at which a woman sews. 


Seethe. To be nearly boiling. 

Seg. Segg. The yellow flower-de-luce. 

Seg. A bull-seg. An ox tbat has been gelded at full age. 

Sey. To assay. 

Sey. To strain liquid. 

Seibow. A young onion. 

Sell. To stain. 

Seindle. Seyndill. Sindle. Seldom; rare. 

Seker. Sicker. Firm. 

Self. Selff. Same. 

Semblant. Appearance; show. 

Sen. Since. 

Sensyne. Since that time. 

Senon. A sinew. 

Serd. Served. Vide Sair. 

Servite. Servyte. A table napkin. 

Set. To lease ; to lay snares ; to become, as to dress. 

Seuch. Sewch. A furrow; to divide. 

Shable. Shabble. A crooked sword; an old rusty sword. 

Shach. To distort from the proper shape. 

Shackle-bane. The wrist. 

Shaft. A handle. 

Shak a fa'. To wrestle; the pit sunk for reaching coals. 

Shangie. To inclose in a cleft stick ; also a shackle that 

runs on a stake, to which a cow is bound in the byre. 
Shorn. Shearn. The dung of oxen or cows. 
Shearney-peat t or daw. A cake of cow's dung mixed 

with coal-dross. 
Shave. Sheeve. A slice. 
Shaver. A wag. 
Shaup. The husk. 

Shows. The foliage of esculent plants. 
Sheal. To put sheep under cover. 


Sheal. Sheiling. A hut, or residence for those who 
have the care of sheep. 

Shear. To cut down corn with a sickle. 

Shellycoat. A spirit, supposed to reside in the waters. 

Sheltie. A horse of the smallest size. 

Sheuch. To lay plants in the earth before they are plant- 
ed out. 

Shevel. To distort 

Shilfcorn. Selkhorn. A thing which breeds in the skin, 
resembling- a small maggot. 

Shitting. Shitten. Grain that has been freed of the husk. 

Shilpie. Shilpit. Insipid ; applied to fermented liquors. 

Shinty. An inferior species of golf. 

Shinty. A club stick used in playing the game. 

Shit. A contemptuous designation for a child. 

Shoes. The rind of flax. 

Shoot. To push off. 

Shot. A stroke or move in play. 

Shot-bled. The blade from which the ear afterwards issues. 

Shottle. Short and thick ; a drawer ; a box in a chest. 

Showl. To showl one's mouth. To distort the face. 

Shucken. Mill-dues. 

Shue. To play at see-saw. 

Shuggie-shue. A swing. 

Sib. Related by blood. 

Sic. Such. 

Sicken. Such kind of. 

Siclike. Of the same kind ; in the same manner. 

Sycht. Sight. 

Sicht. Sight. To inspect. 

Sicker. Secure; firm. 

Side. Syde. Hanging low. 

Sidelins. Side by side. 



Siking. Sighing. 

Sile. Syle. To strain; to blindfold. 

Siller. Silver. 

Silly. Lean; weak from disease; timid. 

Sympill. Sempitt. Lowborn; mean; vulgar. 

Sind. Synd. To wash slightly. 

Sinder. To sunder ; to part ; to separate. 

Syne. Afterwards. 

Sing. To singe. 

Singin-een. The last night of the year. Fife. 

Single. A handful of gleaned corn. 

Synle. Seldom. 

Sinsyne. Since. 

Sipe. Seip. To ooze. 

Sirple. To sip often. 

Sist. To stop; a suspension of diligence; to cite; to sum- 

Siver. Syver. A covered drain. 

Skaicher. A term of gentle reprehension applied to a 

Shail. Skale. To disperse ; to dismiss ; to spill. 

Skaillie. Blue slate. 

Skaith. Hurt; damage; injury supposed to proceed from 

Skaivie. Hair-brained. 

Shamble. Skamyll. A bench ; shambles. 

Skant. Scant. Scarcity. 

Shar. Share. To take fright. 

Shaude. To scald. 

Shawn. The act of singeing clothes. 

Skeeg. To lash. 

Sheely. Skilful. 

Sketch. Sheigh. Apt to startle. 


Skeyg. To move nimbly in walking. 

Skeitcher. A scater. 

Skelb. A splinter. 

Shelf. A shelf. 

Skettie. To squint; a squint look. 

Skelp. A stroke ; to strike with the open hand. 

Skeu. Skew. The oblique part of a gable. 

Skiff". To cause a flat stone to skip on the surface of 


Shift. A flying shower. 
Shiny. Packthread. 

Shyrik. To pour out liquor for drinking. 
Skinkle. To sparkle. 
Skipper. A shipmaster. 
Skyrin. Shining. 
Skirl. To cry with a shrill voice. 
Shite. Shyte. To eject any liquid forcibly. 
Sklout. Sklouter. Cows' dung in a thin state. Fife. 
Sklute. Large clumsy feet. 

Skon. Scone. A thin cake of wheat or barley meal. 
Skonce. To guard. 
Skrae. A thin meagre person. 
Skraik. The screeching of fowls. 
Skran. A phrase used by children when they find any 

thing eatable. 
Shranhy. Lank; slender. 
Shrunty. Meagre; raw-boned. Fife. 
Skug. Scoug. A shade ; a shelter from storm. 
Skull. A shallow basket of a semicircular form. 
Skult. To beat. 
Slabber. A slovenly fellow. 
Slack. Slow ; slow to make payment. 
Slae. Sloe. 


Slag. A portion of any soft substance lifted up from the 

Slaiger. To waddle in the mud. 

Slaik. Slake. To carry off and eat any thing clandes- 
tinely, especially sweetmeats. 

Slairg. Slairy. Slary. To bedaub. 

Slaister. To do any thing in a dirty awkward way. 

Slonk. To wade through a mire. 

Slake. A blow on the chops. Kelly. 

Slap. A breach in a wall or hedge. 

Slash. To give a slabbering kiss. 

Slashy. Applied to work that is both wet and dirty. 

Slaw. Slow. 

Sle. Sley. Sly. 

Sleek. Mire; slime; a measure of fruits, containing 
forty pounds. 

Sleekit. Deceitful. 

Slenk. A piece of low craft. 

Slerg. To bedaub. 

Sleuth. The tract of man or beast, as known by the scent. 

Sleuth-hund. Slough-dog. A blood-hound. 

Slidder. Slipperiness ; unstable; variable. 

Sliddery. Slippery; loose. 

Slim. Slight ; not sufficient ; to do a thing carelessly. 

Sling. To walk with long steps. 

Slink. Not fed; unfed veal in general. 

Slinkie. Tall and slender ; lank. 

SKnkin. Deceitful. 

Slippery. Sleepery. Causing sleep; overpowered with 

Slogan. A war-cry, or gathering-word of a clan. 
Slokin. To quench, in regard to fire ; to allay thirst. 
Slong. Sloung. Slung. A sling. 


Slot. To fasten by a bolt ; a sum of money ; uncertain. 

Blotter. Stouter. To pass time sluggishly. 

Slounge. To go about in an indolent way. 

Slounging. Having a downcast look. 

Sloupe. A stupid silly fellow. 

Slubber. To swallow so as to make a noise with the 

Sluddery. Soft; flaccid. Fife. 

Slump. Taken in the gross. 

Slusch. Slush. Flashy ground ; snow in a liquid state. 

Slute. Slovenly. 

Sma. Small 

Smachry. Trash; a hodge-podge. 

Smad. To stain ; to discolour. 

Smaicher. To eat clandestinely, especially what is agree- 
able to the palate ; a fondling term for a child. 

Smaik. A mean fellow; small; puny. 

Smairie. To besmear. 

Smash. To shiver; to beat severely; to hew down in 

Smatchet. A contemptuous term for a man. 

Smatters. Trifles ; to be busily engaged about trifles. 

Smeddum. The powder of ground malt ; spirit; mettle. 

Smeek. To smoke; to dry by smoke ; smoke. 

Smiddy. A smith's shop. 

Smikker. To smile in a seducing manner. 

Smirikin. Smeerikin. A hearty kiss. Fife. 

Smirhle. To laugh in a suppressed manner. 

Smit. To stain; to infect.- Smittle. Infectious. 

Smytrie. A numerous collection of small individuals. 

Smore. Smure. Smoir. To smother with smoke; to 
choke ; to suffocate. 

Smoutter. To eat often, although little at a time. 


Smudge. Smue. To laugh in one's sleeve. 

Smugly. Amorous; sly; being at the same time well 


Smurr. A drizzling rain. 
Smush. A sulphurous smell, caused by smoke and dust. 


Snob. The projecting part of a rock or hill. 
Snab. A cobler's boy. 
Snack. Cleverly ; quick in action ; tricky. 
Snack. A slight repast. 
Snak. The gnashing of a dog's teeth, when he aims at 

his prey. 

Snapper. To stumble. 
Snash. To talk saucily ; abuse. 
Snaw. Snow. 
Snaw-broo. Snow-water. 
Snawie. Snowy. 
Sneck. Sneg. To cut with a sudden stroke of a sharp 

instrument ; also, the latch of a door. 
Sneck-drawer. One, who from long experience, has 

acquired great facility of doing any thing ; generally 

used in a bad sense ; crafty. Burns. 
Sned. To prune; to lop off; to emasculate. 
Sneer. The act of inhalation at the nostrils. 
Sneeshin. Snuff. 

Snell. Keen ; acute ; in relation to wind. 
Snib. To fasten with a small bolt. 
Sniffle. To be slow in motion or action. 
Snifter. To sniff; stoppage of the nostrils; a severe blast. 
Snippy. Tart in speech. 
Snippit. Applied to a horse with a white face ; also, a 

snub nose. 
Snite. To snuff; applied to a candle. 


Snod. Neat; trim; lopped; pruned; to prune. 

Snoit. Mucus from the nose. 

Snoke. Snook. Snowk. To smell at objects like a dog; 

prying into every corner. 

Snood. A short hair line, to which a fishing-hook is tied. 
Snood. Snude. A fillet with which the hair of a young 

woman's head is hound up. 
Snool. To subjugate by tyrannical means; to submit 


Snoove. To move smoothly and constantly. 
Snotter. Snot at a child's nose. 
Snurl. To contract like hard twisted yarn. 
Sober. Sobyr. Poor; mean; an ill state of health. 
Sober. To compose ; to keep under. 
Soc. Sock. Sok. The right of a baron to hold a court 

within his own domains. 

Socher. To make much of one's self; to live delicately. 
Sock. Sok. A plough-iron. 
Sodds. Soddis. A sort of saddle used by the lower classes, 

made of cloth stuffed. 
Sudroun. Sothroun. Englishmen; the English language, 

as distinguished from the Scottish. 
Soith. Truth. 
Soland-goose. The gannet. 

Sonsy. Having a pleasant look ; plump ; thriving. 
Sooch. To swill; a copious draught. 
Sooth. True. 
Sorn. Some. To obtrude one's self on another for a bed 

and board ; to lodge forcibly. 
Sorner. One who takes free quarters. 
Sorrow. A term unwarrantably used in imprecations, 

equivalent to plague, pox, Sorrow tak you. 
Soss. To mix in a strange manner; a mixture. 


Setter. To boil slowly. 

Souch. Soogh. Swouch. To emit a rushing 1 sound ; to 

breathe long 1 , as in sleep; silent; also, to con over a tune. 
Souks. Soukies. The flower of red or white clover. 
Soule. A swivel. 
Sown. The relative portion of cattle or sheep to pasture. 

A sown of sheep. Five sheep; in some places ten. 

Soum and roum. Pasture in summer, and fodder in 

Soop. Soup. To sweep; the quantity of spoon-meat 

taken into the mouth at once. 
Sample. The part of a flail that strikes the grain. 
Sour-kit. A dish of coagulated cream. 
Sourock. Sourack. Sorrel. 
Soustfeet. Cow-heel. 
Soutar. Souter. A shoemaker. 
Sow. To stack. Hay sow. Hay erected in an oblong 


Sow. To smart ; to feel a tingling pain. 
Sowens. A paste used by weavers for stiffening the yarn 

in working-. 
Sowme. To swim. 
Sowme. Soyme. The rope or chain that passes between 

the horses, by which the plough is drawn. 
Space. To measure by paces. 
Spae. Spay. To foreteL 
Spaywife. A female fortuneteller. 
Spaih. Spake. The spoke of a wheel. 
Spain. Spane. Sean. To wean. 
Spaining-brash. A disorder in children, in consequence 

of being weaned. 
Spait. Spate. A flood. 
Spawl. The shoulder. Black spauld. A disease of cattle. 


Spale. Spoil. Speal. A chip ; a shaving of wood. 

Spang. The act of springing. 

Spank. To move with quickness and activity. 

Spare. Opening of a gown or petticoat. 

Spare. The slit formerly used in the fore part of breeches. 

Spark. To soil, by throwing up small spots of dirt or mire. 

Sparling. A smelt. 

Spartle. To move with inconstancy. 

Spaul. A limb. 

Specialte. Peculiar regard. 

Spede. To speed. 

Speen-drift. Snow drifted by a whirling motion. 

Speice. Pride. 

Speil To climb. 

Speir. To ask. 

Speld. To expand. 

Spelder. To spread open. 

Spell. To tell; to narrate. 

Spence. The place where provisions are kept; the in- 
terior apartment of a country house. 

Spere. To ask ; to search out. 

Spetit. Pierced. 

Spice. Appropriated to pepper. 

Spilgie. A tall meagre person ; long and slender. 

Spill. Spyll. To destroy. 

Spyndill. Thin; slender. 

Spyndle. Spindle. Four hanks, or twenty-four cuts of 

Spink. The maiden pink ; denoting pinks in general. 

Spinkie. A glass of ardent spirits ; Fife. Slender, at the 
same time active. 

Spintie. Lean; thin. 

Spire. The stem of an earth-fast couple, reaching from 


the floor to the top of the wall, partly inserted in, and 
partly standing out of the wall ; a wall between the 
fire and the door with a seat on it, also called the 

Spite. To provoke. Kelly. 

Spitter. A very slight shower. 

Splendris. Splinters. 

Spleuchan. A tobacco pouch. 

Split-new. That which has never been used or worn. 

Splore. A frolic. 

Sponk. Spark. 

Spomible. Admissible as a surety. 

Spout. A boggy spring in ground. 

Sprackle. To clamber. 

Sprayng. Spraing. A long stripe ; variegated. 

Sprainged. Striped ; streaked. 

Sprechled. Speckled. 

Spree. Innocent merriment ; trim ; spruce. 

Spreith. Spreth. Prey; booty. 

Sprig. A thin nail without a head. 

Spring. A quick and cheerful tune on a musical instru- 

Springald. A stripling. 

Sprit-new. Entirely new. 

Sprose. To make a great show. 

Sprush. Spruce. 

Spule. A weaver's shuttle. 

Spule-bane. Shoulder-bone. 

Sputye. To lay waste ; to carry off prey. 

Spung. A purse with a spring; a fob. 

Spung. To pick one's pocket. 

Spunk. A spark of fire ; a match ; spirit. 

Spunkie. Mettlesome ; also, an ignis fatuus. 


Spurtill. Spirtle. A wooden or iron spattlu, for turning 
bread ; a stick with which pottage or broth is stirred 
when boiling. 

Squad. A party ; a squadron. 

Squatter. To flutter in water like a wild duck. 

Stab. A stake. 

Stacker. Staucher. To stagger. 

Stackyard. An enclosure in which corn and hay are erected. 

Stay. Stey. Steep. 

Staig. A horse of one, two, or three years old, not yet 
broken, nor employed in work. 

Staive. Staiver. To stagger; to go about with an un- 
stable motion. 

Stalker. A huntsman. 

Stalwart. Brave; strong. 

Stammack. The stomach. 

Stammer. To stagger. 

Stammerel. Friable stone. 

Stamp. A trap. 

Stance. A station. 

Stand. The gaol ; a stall in a market ; a barrel set on end. 

Stane. A stone. 

Stang. To sting; to thrill with acute pain; a long pole. 
Stang tf the trump. The best member of a family. 

Stangril. An instrument for pushing in the straw in 

Stank. A pool or pond ; the ditch of a fortified town. 

StappiL A stopper. 

Stark. To strengthen. 

Starn. A star. 

Stathel. The prop or bottom of a stack of grain, to raise 
it from the ground. 

Stave. To thrust. 


Staumrel. Half-witted. 

Staw. To surfeit. 

Stead. Steading. Farm house and offices. 

Stech. Stegh. To cram. 

Steek. To shut. 

Steer. Stir. To meddle. 

Steeve. Firm ; referring to a bargain ; trusty. 

Steik. Steke. To pierce with a sharp instrument; to 
stitch; to fasten. 

Steik. To shut close. 

Steilbonet. A kind of helmet. 

Steir. Stout; to govern. 

Stem. To staunch. 

Stend. A spring; to spring. 

Stent. To stretch ; valuation of property, in order to tax- 

Stere. Steir. Commotion. 

Sterk. A young bullock. 

Sterling. A term used to denote English money. 

Steug. Stewg. A thorn; any thing sharp pointed. 

Steuin. The voice; the prow of a ship; also, judgment. 

Stew. Stewe. Vapour; dust. Mill-stew. The dust that 
flies about a mill. 

Stibble. Stubble. 

Stickle. To rustle. 

Stick. To bungle. Stick and stowe. Completely. 

Stiffenin. Starch ; linens stiffened by it 

Styk. A stitch. 

Stile. Style. A sparred gate. 

Stilt. To go on crutches ; to halt ; to cripple. 

Stilt of a plough. The handles of a plough. 

Sty me. The faintest form of any object; to look as one 
whose vision is indistinct. 


Sting. A pole ; an instrument for thatching. 

Sting and ling. To carry off sting and ling. To carry off 

entirely; to carry with a long pole resting on the 

shoulders of two persons. 
Stinger. The mender of a thatched roof. 
Stirling. The starling. 
Stive. Yucm.Stivage. Stout ; fit for work. 
Stob-feathers. The short unfledged feathers which remain 

on a fowl after being plucked. 
Stock. To become stiff; the hardened stem of a plant, as 

a kail-stock. Bed-stock. The forepart of a bed. 
Stock and horn. A musical instrument composed of a 

stock, which is the hinder part of the thigh-bone of a 

sheep ; the horn of a cow, and an oaten reed ; also 

called a chanter-horn. 

Stock-home. A horn used anciently by foresters in Scot- 
Stockie. A piece of cheese, or a bit of fish, between two 

pieces of bread. Fife. 
Stoip. A measure. 

Stoit. Stot. Stoiter. To stagger; to stumble. 
Stolum. As much ink as a pen takes up. 
Stoo. To crop. 

Stook. Stouk. Twelve sheaves of corn put together. 
Stoop. Stoupe. A support; a post fastened in the earth. 
Story. A softer term for a lie. 
Storm. Snow. Storm-stead. Stopped in a journey by 

a storm. 

Stot. To rebound from the ground. 
Stove. To stew ; a vapour. 

Stound. To ache; an acute pain, affecting one at intervals. 
Stoup. A deep narrow vessel for holding liquids. 
Stoup and roup. Completely. 


Stour. Stowr. Dust in motion ; battle. 

Stowrie. Dusty. 

Stoussie. A strong 1 healthy child. 

Stouth. Theft; stealth. 

Stouthrie. Provision; furniture. Fife. 

Stowins. The tender shoots of colewort, or any other 


Stown. Stowin. Stolen. 
Strae. Straw. 

Strae-death. A natural death on one's bed. 
Strabble. Any thing hanging loose. 
Strabush. Stramash. Tumult; uproar; to hurry up and 


Stray. Astray. 

Straik. To stroke ; a blow ; an extent of country. 
Stramullion. A strong muscular woman. Fife. 
Strand. A gutter ; a rivulet. 
Strung. Strong. 
Strange. To wonder. 
Strapping. Tall and handsome. 
Strath. A valley through which a river runs. 
Stravaig. To stroll ; to go about idly. 
Straucht. Straight; also, immediately ; directly. 
Streamers. The Aurora Borealis. 
Streel. To urinate forcibly. Fife. 
Streik. To stretch; to lay a dead body out; to extend; 

to go quickly; speed. 
Strein. Streen. Yesternight. 
StricTt. To tie up flax in handfuls for being milled. 
Striddle. To straddle. 
Stride-legs. Astride. 

String. To hang by the neck ; to be hanged. 
Strinkle. Strinkil. To sprinkle. 


Stroup. Stroop. The spout of a pump, tea-kettle, &c. 

Strone. Stroan. To spout forth as a water pipe; to 
urine ; to stale. 

Straw. Hard to deal with. Kelly. 

Strum. A pettish humour. 

Strunt. Spirituous liquor of any kind. Burns. A pet; 
a sullen fit. Ramsay. 

Study. Studdie. An anvil. 

Stuff. Corn or pulse of any kind. 

Stumfish. Strong; rank; applied to grain when growing. 

Stump. To go on one leg. Stumpie. Any thing mutil- 

Sturdy. A vertigo ; a disease in cattle and sheep. 

Sture. Stur. Stoor. Strong; robust; hoarse. 

Sturt. To vex ; to startle ; wrath ; indignation. 

Succur. Succre. Sugar. 

Suddil. Suddle. To sully ; to defile. 

Sugh. Whistling sound. 

Summer-blink. A transient gleam of sunshine. 

Summer-couts. The exhalations seen to ascend from the 
ground in a warm day. 

Sumph. A blunt soft fellow. 

Sunkets. Provisions of whatever kind. 

Sup. To take food with a spoon. 

Swack. A large quantity ; limber; clever; pliant. 

Sway. Swey. To incline to one side. 

Swayb. Sweab. To swaddle. 

Swaites. Swates. Ale or wort. 

Swak. To throw ; to cast with force. 

Swall. Swatty. To devour. 

Swanky. An active young fellow. 

Swap. To exchange; the cast of lineaments of the coun- 


Swarf. To faint. 

Swash. A noise made on falling- upon the ground; to 

swell; one of a corpulent habit. 
Swatch. A pattern. 

Swattle. The act of swallowing with avidity. Stirlingsh. 
Sweal. To swaddle. 
Sweatbread. The diaphragm in animals. 
Sweeties. Sweetmeats. 
Sweir. Sweer. Lazy; indolent. Dead-sweir. Extremely 

Sweuin. A dream. 

Swick. To deceive; to elude. Fife. 

Swicky. Deceitful 

Swidder. Swither. To hesitate. 

Swingle. To separate flax from the core by beating it. 

Swirl. To whirl like a vortex. 

Swouch. To emit a hollow whistling sound. 

Tabetless. Benumbed. 

Tabrach. Animal food, nearly in a state of carrion. 

Tacht. Tight. 

Tack. Tdk. Act of seisure ; a slight hold. 

Tack. Takk. Take. A lease. 

Tacket. A nail of a shoe. 

Toe. The toe. 

Tag. A latchet. 

Taid. A toad. 

Taidrel A puny creature. 

Taigie. Taiget. A cow with some white hairs in her tail. 


Taigie. To detain. 

Tail-ill. An inflammation of the tail of cattle. 
Taile. Tailye. An entail ; a covenant. 


Tailyie. A piece of meat. 

Tainchell. A mode of catching deer. 

Tassie. A cup. 

Taissle. Teasle. The derangement of dress, by walking 

against a boisterous wind. 
Tait. A wee tait. A small portion. 
Taiver. To wander ; to rave as mad. 
Taivert. Fatigued. 
Tak. To take. 
Tale. Account. 
Tale-piet. A talebearer. 
Tane. One. 
Tane. Taken. 

Tangle. A tall person ; an icicle. 
Tangs. Taings. The tongs. 
Tannei-ie. A tan-work. 
Tantrums. High airs. 
Tap. To top; head; a playing top. 
Tape. To use sparingly. 
Tappie-tousie. A play among children, exhibiting a 

memorial of the feudal mode of receiving a person as 

a bondman, by taking hold of the hair of his forehead. 
Tappiloorie. Any thing raised high on a slight tottering 

Tappit-hen. A crested hen; a measure containing a 


Tapsalteerie. Topsyturvy. 
Tarans. The souls of unbaptized children. 
Tory. To distress ; delay. 
Tarrow. To delay. 

Tartan. Cloth checkered with stripes of various colours. 
Tosh. To soil; a stain. 
Tate. Teat. A small portion of any thing not liquid. 


Taih. Taith. Cow's dung ; to dung. 

Tatter-wallops. Fluttering- rags. 

Tawty. Tatty. Matted ; to tease wool. 

Tauchey. Greasy. 

Tawpie. A foolish woman. 

Tawie. Tame; tractable. 

Taws. A whip ; a lash. 

Tawnle. Taanle. A large fire kindled at night about 

Midsummer, at the time of Beltein. 
Tee. A mark set up in playing at coits. To tee a ba\ 

To set it on a little nodule of earth, and giving it the 

proper direction. 
Teet. To peer. 

Teethy. Crabbed ; ill-natured ; to show one's teeth. 
Tehee. A loud laugh. 
Ticker. Ticker. A small spot. 
Teil. To cultivate the soil. 
Teind. To tithe. 
Teyne. Rage ; to irritate. 
Teir. Fatigue. 
Temper-pin. A wooden screw-pin, used for tempering 

the motion of a spinning wheel. 
Tender. Sickly; delicate. 
Tenement. A house which includes several separate 


Tent. To stretch out; care; to be attentive. 
Tentie. Watchful; careful. 
Teuch. Teugh. Tough; tedious. 

Thack. Thatch. Covering of straw, rushes, heath, &c. 
Thai. Thay. Plural of he or she. 
Thane. A title of honour among the Scots. 
Thegither. Together. 
Theik. To give a roof, of whatever kind. 


Theivil. A stick for stirring a pot. Fife. 

Thetis. Thetes. The ropes or traces by which a horse 

draws in a carriage, plough, or harrows. 
Thewless. Thieveless. Unprofitable; inactive. 
Thick. Intimate; familiar. 
Thigg. To ask ; to beg. To go about receiving supply, 

not as a common mendicant. 

Think shame. To be abashed ; to have a sense of shame. 
Thir. These. 

Thirl. To thrill; to pass with a tingling sensation. 
Thirl. A term used to denote those hinds, the tenants of 

which are bound to bring all their grain to a certain 


Thochty. Thoughtful. 
Thole. To bear; to suffer. 
Thone. Yonder. 

Thought. A moment, as respecting time. 
Thow. To thaw. 
Thowel. Thowel-pins. The pins between which the oars 

of a boat act. 
Throve. Twenty-four sheaves of corn, including two 


Thrang. To throng. Crowded ; intimate ; pressed. 
Thrapple. To throttle, or strangle. The windpipe. 
Throw. To wreathe; to twist; to distort. Anger. 
Thraw-cruk. An instrument for twisting ropes of straw. 
Threap. A pertinacious affirmation. 
Thrimble. To press; to squeeze; to wrestle. 
Thrisle. The thistle. 
Throwither. Promiscuously; confusedly. 
Throwgang. A thoroughfare; a passage. 
Thruch-stane. A flat grave-stone. 
Thrunland. Rolling; tumbling about. 


Thrush. The rush. 

Thud. The forcible impression made by a tempestuous 

wind. To beat; to strike. 
Thumbikins. An instrument of torture, applied as a 

skrew to the thumbs. 
Thwayng. Whang. A thong". 
Tick. To click as a watch ; a dot of any kind. 
Tid. Proper time or season. 
Tydie. Neat. 

Tift. Condition; plight; to put in order; to quaff. 
Tig. To touch slightly ; to dally. 
Tyke. A dog; a selfish snarling fellow. 
Till. To. 

Tyld. To cover. Tile. 

Till. While; during the time. Cold unproductive clay. 
Time-about. Alternately. 
Timmer. Timber. 

Timming. A coarse thin woollen cloth. 
Tin. Loss. Tine. To lose. 
Tynd. To kindle. A harrow tooth. 
Tynsett. Loss. 
Ting. To ring. 
Tip. A ram ; to take the ram. 
Tippenize. To tipple small beer. 
Tirl. To uncover. 
Tirless. A lattice ; a wicket. 
Tirliewirlie. A whirligig. 
Tirrivee. A fit of passion. 
Tirwirring. Habitually growling. 
Tyte. A quick pull; soon. 
Title. To prate idly. 
Titlar. A tattler. 
Titlene. The hedge sparrow. 


Titty. Diminutive of sister. 

Tocher. The dowry brought by a wife. 

To-cum. To approach. 

Tod. The fox. 

Tod and Lambs. A game played on a perforated board 

with wooden pins. 
Toddle. To walk with short steps. 
Toofall. A building annexed to the wall of a larger house. 
Toy. A head-dress of linen or woollen, that hangs down 

over the shoulders, worn by old women of the lower 


Toil. A fit, whether of illness or bad humour. 
Tokie. An old woman's head-dress, resembling a monk's 


Toll. A turnpike. 

To-luck. Boot ; what is given above bargain. 
Toober. To beat ; to strike. 
Toolye. A broil ; to quarrel. 
Toot. To blow a horn. 
Toothftf. A glass of strong liquor. 
fore of a saddle. The pommell. 
Tosch. Neat; trim. 

Tosie. Tipsyj intoxicated in some degree. 
Tothir. The other. 
Tottie. Warm; snug. 
Tome. Tipsy. 

Touk. A tug; to beat; to emit a sound by beating. 
Tousie. Disordered; rough. 
Tousle. Rough dalliance. 
Toot. To take a long draught. 
Towt. To put in disorder. 
Tow. A rope of any kind. 
Towmond. A year. 


Trauchle. To draggle ; to trail. 

Traik. To go idly from place to place ; a plague j to be 
in ill health. 

Traist. An appointed meeting. 

Tram. The shaft of a cart or carriage. 

Tramp. To tread with force ; to tread With a heavy step. 

Trance. The passage within a house. 

Transmugrify. To transform. 

Trap. A short ladder. 

Trust. A beam. 

Thrawart. Perverse. 

Tree. A barrel. 

Treviss. A division ; any thing laid across, by way of bar. 

Trews. Trousers. 

Trig. Neat; trim. 

Trim. To beat soundly. 

Trinketing. Clandestine correspondence with an oppo- 
posite party. 

Trintle. To trundle, or roll. 

Trip. A flock of a considerable number. Trip of wild 

Traggers. The designation given to one species of Irish 

Troke. To bargain in the way of exchange. 

Trotcosie. A piece of woollen cloth, which covers the 
back part of the neck and shoulders, with straps across 
the crown of the head, and buttoned from the chin 
downwards to the breast, for defence against the wea- 

Trotters. Sheeps' feet. 

Trow. A wooden spout, in which the water is carried 
to the mill-wheel. 

Trow. To believe. 


Trowth. Truth. 

Trump. A Jew's harp ; to deceive. 

Trunscheour. A plate ; a trencher. 

Tuck. Tuck of drum. Beat of drum. 

Tug. Raw hide, of which traces were formerly made. 

Tuilyie. A quarrel ; a broil. 

Tume. Empty; to empty. 

Tumfie. Dull and stupid sort of fellow. 

Tup. The common name for a ram. 

Tusker. An iron instrument, with a wooden handle, for 

cutting peats. 
Two. Two. 

Twin. To part ; to separate. 
Twitter. That part of a thread that is spun too small. 

Uff. To feel abhorrence. 

Ugertfou. Nice; squeamish. 

Ugsum. Frightful; exciting abhorrence. 

Umquhile. Sometimes ; at times. 

Uncanny. Not safe. 

Unchancy. Not lucky ; not fortunate. 

Unco. Unknown ; very. Uncos. Used as news. 

Undo. To cut off. 

Unlussum. Unlovely. 

Unsonsie. Unlucky. 

Untill. Unto. 

Uppish. Aspiring; ambitious. 

Upstruucht. Stretched up. 

Upwith. Upwards. 

Uver. Upper. 

Vaiy. To wander; to roam. 
Vogie. Vain. 


Valentine. A billet folded in a particular manner, and 
sent by one young person to another, on St. Valentine's 
day, 14th February. 

Venall. An alley j a lane. 

Vent. A chimney. 

Vere. The spring. 

Vertue. Thrift j industry. 

Victual. Grain of any kind. 

Virle. Ferrule. A small ring- put round any body to 
make it firm. 

Vive. Lively ; representing- to the life. 

Veivers. Provisions for the sustenance of life. 

Wae worth you. Wo befal you. 

Wa. Wae. Sorrow. 

Wabran leaves. Great plantain or vvaybread. 

Wacht. To quaff. 

Wad. Wed. A pledge ; a wager ; to bet. 

Wadd. Woad used in dying. 

Wadge. To brandish ; to shake in a threating manner. 

Wae. Woe. Waeness. Sorrow ; vexation. 

Waff. Worthless conduct. Waff-like. Having a shabby 

worthless appearance. 
Waff. Waif. To wave ; a hasty motion. 
Waft. The woof of a web. 
Wa-gang. A departure; a disagreeable taste after a thing 

is swallowed. 

Waggle. A bog ; a marsh. 
Waigle. To waddle ; to waggle. 
Waik. To watch ; to enfeeble. 
Wair. To spend. 
Wait. Wat. To know. 
Waith. The act of hunting ; raiment ; wandering. 


Waithman. A huntsman. 

Wold. The plain; wold. 

Wale. To avail ; the act of choosing. 

Walie. Excellent ; large. 

Wall/. Prosperity. Walyfa. May good fortune befal. 

Wakerife. Wakeful; watchful. 

Wall. To beat two masses into one. 

Wattees. Saddlebags. 

Wallidrag. A feeble ill-grown person. 

Wallop. To move quickly with much agitation of the 

Wallow. To wither ; to fade. 

Walsh. Insipid to the taste. 

Walter. To overturn. 

Wame. The womb ; the belly ; the stomach. 

Wamble. To move with an undulating motion. 

Wamfle. To move like a tatterdemallion, with rags flap- 

Wamfler. A rake ; a wencher. 

Wan. Dark-coloured; black; deficient. 

Wanchancie. Unlucky; dangerous. 

Wane. A wain ; a habitation ; opinion ; manner. 

Wanter. A bachelor; a widower. 

Wanworth. Undervalue; unworthy. 

Wap. To throw quickly; a smart stroke; to wrap. 

War. Worse ; were ; aware ; to expend. 

Waur. To overcome ; to outdo. 

Warrand. To protect ; a place of shelter. 

Warydraggel. The youngest of a brood. 

Wark. Werk. To ache. 

Warkloom. A tool or instrument for working. 

Warlock. A wizard. 

Warsche. Insipid to the taste. 


War sett. To wrestle ; struggle. 

Wartweil. The skin above the nail, when fretted. 

Wash. Stale urine. 

Wasting. A consumption; a decline. 

Wauble. To swing ; to reel. 

Waught. A large draught of liquid. 

Waver. To wander. 

Wauk. To full cloth ; to shrink, from being wetted. 

Wauker. A fuller. 

Wee. Small ; little j a short time. 

Wean. Wee-ane. A child. 

Wear in. To gather with caution. 

Wecht. An utensil for winnowing corn, made in the 

form of a sieve, of sheepskin. 
Weddir-gaw. Part of one side of a rainbow, appearing 

immediately above the horizon, prognosticating bad 


Weebo. Common ragwort. 
Weem. A natural cave. Fife. 
Weid. A child-bed fever. 
Weigh-bauk. A balance. 
Weik. A corner ; an angle. The weiks of the mouth. 

The corners of the mouth. 
Weil. Prosperity. Weil is me. Happy am I. 
Weill-farand. Having a goodly appearance. 
Weird. Fate ; to destine. 
Weirdless. Unprosperous. 
Weise. Wyse. To use policy in obtaining an object; to 

lead; to incline. 
Weit. Bain; wetness. 
Welcome-home. Repast presented to a bride, when she 

enters the door of the bridegroom. 
Welter. To roll ; to overturn. 


Wer. Wary. 

Werdie. The youngest bird in a nest. Fife. 

Werry. To strangle. 

Westlin. Westlands. Westward; western. 

Well-ey. That part of a quagmire where there is a spring. 

Whaisle. To wheeze in breathing. 

Whauk. To thwack. 

Wheeple. An ineffectual whistle; a shrill intermittent 

Whid. A lie. 

Whilly. To gull. Whittiwha. A person who deals in 
ambiguous promises. 

Whiltie-whaltie. In a state of palpitation. 

Whinger. A short hanger, used as a knife at meals, and 
as a sword in broils. 

Whip-off. To fly off with velocity. 

Whish. To hush. Whisht. Be silent. 

Whistle. To weet one's whistle. To take a drink. 

Whistle-binkie. One who attends a penny-wedding with- 
out paying any thing. 

White-bonnet. One who, in a sale by auction, bids for 
his own goods, or who is employed by the owner for 
this purpose. 

Whitie-whatie. A silly pretence, from a design to pro- 

Whitter. A hearty draught of liquor. 

Whittle. A knife. 

Whittret. The weasel. 

Whorle. A very small wheel ; the fly of a spinning rock, 
made of stone or wood. 

Wicht. Strong; powerful; active; clever; a person. 

Wick. To strike a stone obliquely, in curling. 

Wicker. A wand ; a twig. 


Widdie. A rope made of twigs of willow, used to de- 
note a halter; vulgarly, the gallows itself. 

Widdifow. To fill a widdie or halter. 

Widdie. To waddle. 

Wie. Little. 

Wife. A woman, married or unmarried, generally. 

Wyle. To possess by artful means. 

Willawins. Welladay. 

Wimblebore. A hole in the throat, which prevents one 
from speaking plain. 

Wimple. To move in a meandrous way, generally applied 
to a stream. 

Win. To dwell ; to dry corn, hay, peats, &c. 

Win. To quarry; to have a thing in one's power, &c. 

Wynd. An alley ; a lane. 

Windle-strae. Smooth-crested grass. 

Winlyne. A bottle of straw or hay. 

Windock. Window. 

Wink. In a wink. In a moment. 

Winkers. Eye-lashes. 

Winraw. Hay or peats, in a long row, for drying. 

Winsome. Gay; merry; cheerful. 

Wintle. To stagger ; to reel. 

Winze. A curse. 

Wirry-cow. A bugbear ; a scarecrow. 

Wisch. Washed. 

Wisen. To wither; to become dry and hard. 

Wishie-washie. Shuffling language. 

Wiss. To wish ; to direct ; to guide. 

Wit. To know. 

Wite. To blame ; to accuse. 

Witter. The barb of an arrow or fish-hook. 

Wittins. Knowledge. 


Wittis. The senses. 

Wizen. The throat. 

Wod. Wud. Mad; furious. 

Woo. Wool It's a* ae woo. It is all one. 

Wooerbab. The garter-knot below the knee. 

Worlin. A puny and feeble creature. 

Worrie. To strangle. 

Worset* Worsted. 

Wouff. To bark. 

Worsum. Purulent matter. 

Wow. Woo. To make IOTC to. 

Wraith. An apparition, in the likeness of a person. 

Wratch. To become niggardly, 

Wreist. To sprain. 

Wrig. The youngest of a nest or family. 

Wroul. An ill-grown person. 

Wurdy. Worth; deserving. 

Wullcat. Wild cat. 

Yabble. To gabble. Fife. 

Yad. Yaud. Properly, an old mare. 

Yaff. To bark ; to talk pertly. 

Yald. Sprightly. 

Yamer. To yell ; to shriek ; to whine. 

Yape. Hungry ; to be hungry. 

Yard. A garden. 

York. To beat. 

Yarr. A weed, found in poor land. 

Yaup. To yelp; denoting the incessant crying of birds. 

Yaws. The disorder called Syphilis. 

Yeald. Yeld. Barren. 

Yieldins. Eildins. Of the same age. 

Yisk. To hiccup. 


Yealtou. Yea, wilt thou ? 

Yird. Earth; soil; to bury. 

Yet. A gate ; to pour. 

Yeoman. A husbandman ; a farmer. 

Yill. Ale. Yill-wife. A woman who brews and sells 

Yim. A particle ; the smallest portion. 

Yym. To keep. 

Yirm. To whine ; to complain. 

Yyrne. To curdle ; to coagulate. 

Yoke. No engage in dispute. 

Yokin. The period in which a man and horse are en- 
gaged in ploughing at one time. 

Yolk. The centre of a flash of crown glass. 

Yont. Beyond. 

Youk. To itch. Youky. Itchy. 

Youl. To howl; to yell. 

Yont. Farther. Yontermost. Still farther. 

Yout. To cry ; to scream. 

Yow. Yowe. A ewe. 

Yowde. Went. : . . 

Yule. The name given to Christmas. 

Yule-e'en. The night preceding Christmas. 


Page 224, line 11 from bottom, dele the pit sunk for reaching coals, and 
insert in the line above. 


PN Henderson, Andrew 

6425 Scottish proverbs